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The Things They Carried Character Analysis Essay

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The Things They Carried Character Analysis Essay
In The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, many negatives of being a soldier are presented. These negatives, being shown as emotional burdens, are prevalent throughout each character in The Things They Carried. More intensely shown is Norman Bowker. He carried strong burdens throughout the story as well as the end of it. The social aspect of the Vietnam War affected the soldiers in The Things They Carried by forcing them to get involved with illegal drugs, and find themselves stuck with emotional burdens of depression and PTSD.
Considering that these men were in war, seeing people die, the idea of them having emotional burdens is understandable. Norman Bowker was a character that could not handle his burdens any longer. In Speaking of Courage,
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Considering that Norman Bowker committed suicide when he returned from the war, this shows how the men could not handle the emotional loads.
Throughout the Vietnam War, many American soldiers tried various drugs. Similarly, the men in The Things They Carried tried various drugs. They did this to ease the fear and worry that they might die. In the book, Ted Lavender is high and is asked how the war is going and he says “…real smooth. Today we’ve got ourselves a real mellow war.” (O'Brien, 1990) To get over Lavender’s death, they all smoke what is left of his marijuana. The fact that these men do so many drugs ruins their experience when they return from the war.
These men fight many battles throughout the Vietnam War. In the book and real life men go through what all the characters in The Things They Carried did. They lived the life of depression, PTSD and withdrawal from drugs. The burdens that they went through were as real as it gets and the fact that Norman Bowker committed suicide shows how difficult the Vietnam War really was and how the social expectations put on these men broke them

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