Things They Carried Essay For my essay I chose to do it on Henry Dobbins. Henry Dobbins was a soldier in the Alpha Company that had carried physically his girlfriend’s pantyhose around his neck, extra rations, M-60, ammunition and Black flag insecticide. Henry Dobbins figuratively carries the weight of memory and guilt. Henry Dobbins shows that he is feeling guilt and maturing as the book goes on in the chapter “Style”. Throughout the book Henry Dobbins was seen “wrapping his girlfriend’s pantyhose around his neck before heading out on ambush.” (O’Brien 111)
The chapter “stockings,” is all about Henry Dobbins, why he carries his girlfriend’s pantyhose and what they symbolize. To start, the whole meaning of “stockings” is to show how the things from home stayed as a comfort to some soldiers, in this case Dobbins. Knowing this the pantyhose he is wearing gives him a closeness to his girlfriend back at home. “He liked the memories this inspired; he sometimes slept with the stockings up against his face, the way an infant sleeps with a flannel blanket, secure and peaceful.” (O’Brien 111). O’Brien uses a metaphor to show how the pantyhose were related to Dobbins. O’Brien compares dobbins holding the stockings up to his face, to a small child holding their blanket while it sleeps. Dobbins stated, “The pantyhose, had the properties of a good-luck charm.” (O’Brien 111).
Henry Dobbins “Like many of us, he felt the pull of superstition, and believed firmly and absolutely in the protective power of the stockings.” (O’Brien 112) Dobbins felt as if the stockings “gave access to a spiritual world, where things are soft and intimate, a place where he might someday take his girlfriend to live.” (O’Brien 112) There was two instances where Dobbins almost was killed but had nearly escaped, which he believed was caused by the stockings. “In August, he tripped a Bouncing Betty, which failed to detonate. And a week later he got caught in the open during a