Guilt Theme In The Things They Carried

Topics: Army, World War II, Vietnam War Pages: 1 (155 words) Published: April 10, 2016


The theme of guilt is prominent in “The Things They Carried” due to the fact that soldiers are shown as if they felt obligated to go to war for fear of embarrassing themselves, their families, and their towns if they decided to not go and run away. This embarrassment is shown as their guilt because they’re not being "masculine" enough. In addition, they are told that if they do not serve in war then they are not being brave, heroic, or patriotic enough. The feelings of shame and guilt follow the soldiers into the war as well, and make them do irrational and crazy things. Shame and guilt follow Bowker with such intensity that he eventually hangs himself. Whilst the soldiers are fighting at war, it's obvious that O'Brien is shaken by a similar...
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