Book review on The things they carried

Essay by LittleCutieCollege, UndergraduateA+, May 2005

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The Things They Carried- Book Review

In The Things They Carried, author Tim O'Brien conveys his experience and feelings about the Vietnam War through a collection of stories. Each narrative is comprised with vivid description telling us about one of the soldiers of the Alpha Company in Vietnam. One of the significant concepts in this novel is the importance of certain objects or feelings carried and used by the soldiers to survive the war. Several of these things are intangible, including guilt and fear, while others are specific physical objects, including matches, morphine, M-16 rifles, and M&M's candy. Tim O'Brian releases his fear, sadness, and anger felt due to the war, and illustrates to us the power ordinary objects may have on one, solely through sentimental value

Tim O'Brien was born on October 1, 1946 in Worthington, Minnesota. After graduating in 1968 from McAlester College in St. Paul with a degree in Political Science, O'Brien was drafted into the army.

His college years, however, were spent trying to ignore the Vietnam War or railing against it-- he attended peace vigils and war protests, and aspired to join the State Department. This was a horrid, confused, and traumatic period for Tim O'Brian. While serving at the South Vietnamese village of My Lai, he was wounded and returned home with Purple Heart, a Bronze Star for Valor, and a Combat Infantry Badge. After his return, O'Brien entered a Ph. D. program in Government at Harvard University. During the time he spent at Harvard, O' Brien spent two summers working as a reporter for the Washington Post. In 1975, O'Brien published his first novel, Northern Lights. Since then, he has published quite a few fictional novels based on the Vietnam war including, If I Die in a Combat Zone, Box Me Up and...