Encumbrance Of War

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade August 2001

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A combat veteran himself, Tim O'brien's short story titled "The Things They Carried" weigh the physical, yet psychological encumbrances of mere adolescents in Vietnam. In this work, O'brien calculates in depth their physical cargo; in addition, his subtlety in unveiling their psychological burden was excellent. Because of the ill-fated demise of Lavender and constant relections on his maiden, Martha Lt Cross is bewildered and overwhelmed with apprehension. However, his newfound resolution to command his platoon with strict military procedure is certainly a conjecture of his psyche. The author begins his account of "The Things They Carried" with Lt. Cross engaging in his ritual with his most intamte possessions. "The letters weighted ten ounces" (469). However, for Lt. Cross and these mementos he carried, would they ultimateky be his short coming as an officer and overseer of the platoon. At this time they had undertaken a mission to search and destroy a complicated series of tunnels.

Lee Strunk had the luck of the draw for tunnel duty "As they waited the men smoked, and drank kool-aid... (473). When Strunk emerged there was celebration and disorder He howled AHOOOO and right then Ted Lavender was shot in the head (474). Neverthe less it was business as usual after the chopper tookTed away .Subsequently for Lt Cross the feeling of accountability for Lavenders death would inspire him to reform. In the days that followed would this prove to be all in vain, for "he was just a kid himself" (474).