The things they carried

Essay by chandythorn October 2014

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Chandy Thorn Thorn 1

Cynde Delauder

English 111

30 September 2014

"In many respects, Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried concerns the relationship between fiction and the narrator" (Friedlander 1). The story that O'Brien writes is not a true story, however he can relate to it because he was an active participant in Vietnam. Tim O'Brien wrote much more than a war time story. Tim O'Brien wrote a Story, of pain, hardship, love, and the heavy burdens they carried in their hearts, and on there backs.

O'Brien talks about the things they carried on their backs. "They carried the standard M-16 gas-operated assault rifle. The weapon weighed 7.5 pounds unloaded…" (O'Brien 640). O'Brien talks about weight with almost everything he describes. This to me shows how heavy the things they carried were. Each person carried something different, some carried tranquilizers, medicine, candy, or tear gas. The main message is that they all physically had a lot to carry and this didn't even include what they carried emotionally.

"They carried all they could bear, and then some, including a silent awe for the terrible power of the things they carried" (O'Brien 640). The things they carried were heavy, and a lot to take in.

Furthermore, they also carried more than just weapons and necessities. Jimmy Cross carried Martha. He didn't just carry her letters, her pebble, or her photographs. He carried her presence, in his mind. The wonder of her, the hope that one day she will love her back. She

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made the weight that he carried a lot lighter. She made the war around them softer, and fading. Jimmy lost sight of his duties and what he was there to protect when he thought of Martha. This is why Lavender died; Jimmy was blinded by what was not...