The Things They've Carried

Essay by DIMEDOUTDIVA926College, UndergraduateA+, May 2004

download word file, 3 pages 5.0

Downloaded 101 times

The Things They Carried

Tim O'Brien

War is simply a general name of a huge, mind consuming traumatic experience that changes peoples' lives. The events that occur during a war are inhumane and evil. Unfortunately, those who sacrifice their lives and souls for a war, entering the game as one person and return (if they are lucky) completely different. Many aspects of manslaughter, death, wondering through the unknown, affect individuals in dramatic ways. In The Things They Carried, Tim O'Brien expresses a huge theme of change through the stories of the people he encountered in Vietnam and through out these stories express the extreme mind-altering process of war. By understanding the internal stories of the people at war, it becomes more clear on why these so-called soldiers change for life. Tim O'Brien deliberately exhibits many quotes and symbols through his writing which allows the reader to ponder: When you are in the hands of fear, who is the real you? O'Brien also shows that people take a lot for granted, and once a person is walking through death's territory, much more of home is appreciated.

Each life of the platoon lies in the hands of each soldier, which plays a huge role in the metamorphoses of their souls as well as each individual's personality traits determine one's destiny on a battlefield. "They all carry as much as they can, for protection and entertainment including awe and fear of the things they've carried." Each soldier is taking it day by day and one by one death arrives to them. The soldiers carry by their sides, pounds and pounds of necessities and a small personal item that makes them unique, yet they are all sharing the same feelings and thoughts that swarm their minds about how much they took for granted and...