The Things They Carried

Topics: Love, Love letter, Symbol Pages: 2 (908 words) Published: May 9, 2013
In the book, The Things They Carried, by Tim O’ Brien, the author shows and identifies a sense of compassion and bravery throughout the book. This thrilling and adventurous book is not only a story about Vietnam, but also a story about true love and the friendship that the soldiers share with each other, with unyielding stories about other people’s experiences in the Vietnam War. The author uses symbols to explain and give an example in the story. There are three of these symbols, Linda, love letters, and fear, which all have something that they represent as well. One symbol that is in the book is, Linda. Linda was O’Brien’s first love. After she died, his day dreams provided him images of her which made him just miss her more and feel more alone. For example, in the story it states, “Nothing much came to me. I remember closing my eyes and whispering her name, almost begging, trying to make her come back. ‘Linda,’ I said, ‘please.’ And then I concentrated. I willed her alive. It was a dream, I suppose, or a day dream, but I made it happen. I saw her coming down the middle of the Main Street, all alone,” (O’ Brien 237). This is an example because he missed her so much and it shows that character that he is and was when her was with her. From this quote, it shows that Linda is the symbol for O’ Brien. Later, in the chapter of The Lives of The Dead, it states, "Dead, I said, Linda smiled it was a secret smile, as if she knew things nobody could ever know, and she reached out and touched my wrist and said, 'Timmy, stop crying. It doesn’t matter,’ " (O’ Brien 238). This is an example of symbolism because while O'Brien was talking about the story of Linda, his elementary school sweetheart whom he was in love with, who died from a brain tumor. However, remembering and repeating the stories she once told she died with a senseless death like all the other soldiers in Vietnam, as he tries to revive some sense into his own personal life. She is a symbol because she...
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