The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien: An Analysis

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  • Topic: Latin honors, Thought, Death
  • Pages : 2 (476 words )
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  • Published : June 11, 2012
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“Mary Anne made you think about all those girls back home, how clean and innocent they are, how they’ll never understand any of this, not in a billion years. Try to tell them about it, they’ll just stare at you with those big round candy eyes. They won’t understand zip. It’s like trying to tell someone what chocolate tastes like.” (Page 113)

In his story, The Things They Carried, author Tim O’Brien reveals the horrendous physical conditions and fears a man will subject himself to in order to save his reputation in war. The story takes place around 1968 and is about an Infantry Platoon fighting in the jungles of Vietnam with the weight, both physical and emotional, that they must carry.  These modern day warriors were equipped with every piece of equipment you could imagine.  Most of what the soldiers carried was largely determined by necessity, such as can openers, pocketknives, helmets and flack jackets. In this book, many of the charecters went to war as a fun, young man, but as they experience the trammetizing moments in war, they changed and became serious and mean. “I’d come to war a quiet, thoughtful sort of person, a college grad, Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude, all the credentials, but after seven months in the bush I realized that those high, civilized trappings had somehow been crushed under the weight of the simple daily realities. I’d turn mean inside()”.O'Brien went over to Vietnam a rational, caring, and understanding young man and left as a hardened, war-stained soldier who can no longer revert back to his former self. One of the biggest disasters that the war brought for the young soldiers is isolation and loneliness. They miss their families, their girlfriends and friends. They miss the lives they left behind. At the same time, they are still kind fellows. They show their kindness for strangers, for example, in case of the old man who led them unharmed through the mine field. The also find love for each other, because in Vietnam each of...
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