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Things They Carried Term

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Autor:  anton  09 December 2010
Tags:  Things,  Carried
Words: 2339   |   Pages: 10
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How can one realize the seriousness of a particular event? Situations in history exist only in our thoughts rather than our presence. As past events have unfolded so has the opportunity for growth. One such era includes the Vietnam War. Tim O’ Brien’s novel entitled The Things They Carried creates an atmosphere of knowledge surrounding the struggles related to the Vietnam War. To grasp the concept of such a brutal historical event one must understand the struggles and decisions

made by people during that era. Thus giving us the capacity to expand our minds.

The Vietnam War sparked many controversial topics and views. Some wanted peace and others wanted war. In the end the political machine waged a confrontation with what it believed to be an opportunity. Tim O’ Brien was a soldier who was drfted in 1968 to serve for our benefit. He was reluctant to go and even attempted to flee. He changed his mind and was eventually sent to the front lines of battle. While there he witnessed the “Things people Carried” with them. These things could be physical or emotional. In his novel you will realize that each physical burden underscores an emotional one. These physical and emotional burdens were carried from the beginning of the mens service until there deaths. The major conflict conveyed by Tim O’Brien deals with the grappling effects of the Vietnam War. In his stories he talks about all the men in his company and how each event affected them. He also shows there struggles and how the physical and emotional burdens either weakened them or strengthened them in a tramatic time.

The War itself proved to be very costly. Many men lost their lives for an undefined cause. Tim O’ Brien also relays the effects of soldiers after the war. Even when the men went home they still carried the burdens as if they were welded to their souls. In many instances the deaths the men witnessed haunted them. While in the midst of war their minds did strange things to them. Some men would never live to see a nrmal day again. Some men were strong and some were proven to be weak when faced with struggle. All the events of battles and deaths are reconstructed through the memory of Tim O’ Brien and the comrades of his company. All the feelings of grief,love,longing,morality and loneliness are visible within each man. All these stories and actions are put together through interconnected stories of the years spent in Vietnam by a soldier who felt these feelings as well.

The author shows that even in a time of despare bonds can occur. The men of that company shared a type of friendship that could not be duplicated in any other circumstance other than war. These men marched together into the unknown and understood that death was not to far behind them. They would smoke, drink , laugh, and reminece about the homeland together. Some men cracked with the pressure and some grew stronger. The story leads to the ending point of the life after the war. The author relays the message that you never really stop remembering the past. Whether or not it was a good thing to do didn’t matter at all. They were there and it had happened so what truths can be realized through such an event. Tim starts as a young man scared of what will come. He travels through the war and meets a lot of people carrying a lot of different things. He sees many men die and even kills a few himself. He luckily makes it out of the war situation and comes home only to dwell on his past. Things have changed for him as well as the other men that accompanied him on his journey through realization.

Within the text of this novel many realistic situations are reviewed. The authors main theme focuses on the physical and emotional burdens that he and the soldiers of Vietnam carried. He basically wants people to understand the reasoning behind the feelings and thoughts of those involved in tramatic situations. Tim O’ Brien displays the background situations leading up to the war and how most men felt. Generally he wants to provide detailed information about the hardships of the war whether they be physical or emotional. Such devotion cannot be seen in any other type of situation. By revealing the thoughts and actions of the men Tim O’ Brien can stress the importance of such a dramatic situation. In reality this effected much more than a few political negotiations. Our whole country suffered in some way while fighting this political war. The author believes in the necessity behind the blurring of the truth within stories. This novel also suggests the coming of age. He starts off a confused young teen who later becomes a man through the reality of experience.

Values are very important when talking about such a sensitive subject. Tim O’ Brien’s values are explained in his text. The obvious value is life, but that is not all. He values respect, honor, dignity, and most of all will. All the men in every situation encounter a type of will. The will to push on or remember as well as the will to fight through a struggle while putting the consequences aside. When the will is gone the men lose hope in themselves as well as there country. This novel does not just apply to the men of Vietnam at all. It applies to every man, women, or child who has ever had to define hardship and struggle. The strains can tear apart many things while bringing other things closer together. His views may be bias due to the fact that he was actually inmvolved in the war and has a lot of pride in the situation he was in. Other than that he has no reason to manipulate the events spoken of in The Things They Carried.

His book is probably one of the most accurate descriptions of the lifestyle focused around the Vietnam war. His assumptions are general and many other stories back up his opinions. Many Americans and most of all veterans agree with his interpretations on the war. The way the soldiers lived before, during , and after the war are extremely realistic. The reason for this lies in his actual participation in the novel and in his actual life. All of the events and lifestyles can be justified through personal experience. Other Vietnam war stories include the same reasoning and burdens that Tim addresses. In a couple of scenes in his book he addresses the dillusions of the men which can be viewed as false. The disallusionment sis factual in itself but the actual events are hersay. The events described do provide realization in the stories. The authors assumptions are generally correct and do not deviate from the initial fictional events and actions occurring in the real situation.

Throughout history books have been written portraying the lives of men in warfare. Tim O’ Brien’s first person account of the war provides a stable amount of credibility. His writings have allowed the readers to understand the burdens of everyone involved in combat. It is through the text that we realize hardship, honor, struggle, and realization. His works have proven to be very helpful in the study of warfare. People can somehow find a way to view a soldiers actions as a person. This book will leave a trail of values for the readers to follow. Understanding hardship is very valuable in identifying ones true character. The author has opened a window of understanding in a difficult field. We as people cannot learn from mistakes if we do not truly understand them to begin with. Everyone has a burden, it is how we choose to carry them and what they consist of that matters the most.

The author in this case uses first person and third person points of view. The only real limitation he poseeses comes from the area of knowing the other mens thoughts. By being a soldier he cannot truly understand the reactions of the people around him. This makes a bias situation. He uses the third person point of view to tell someone elses story. Mostly he relies on his actual experiences. The reader can se this when he describes the physical and emotional scenes of battle. When men die he closely monitors the atmosphere around him which reveals many traits of the men and there surroundings. In any case he speaks from experience of the actual event which also adds to his credibility on the topic.

This book creates an almost poetic transition. The author uses great supporting details as well as good slang words to describe the scenes. Each chapter or “story” has its own melodic structure in the sense that it flows well with the surrounding stories. As the men of A company march together he gives a strong sense of unity while at the same time containing a bit of isolation in an unknown land. When all the stories are tied together you begin to understand the slang terms and the reasoning behind the actions of the men. Some men die “easy” and some die in a harsher manner, but every death is significant to the feelings of the men. The author uses these transitions to supply a type of understanding to each individual situation. For example one battle leads to a certain thought process by one of the men which then in turn sends the man into a type of depression. This depression overcomes him and in the end gets him killed. By using good supporting details and by adding a great flow to the stories the author is able to make his point stand out.

This book is very accessible to anyone interested in the topic. Obviously someone who does not enjoy war novels will usually not enjoy this book. This book is made available by nearly every library in the St. Louis area. People who wish to better there understanding for the Vietnam War generally read this book as well as few others. In many aspects this book goes into great detail about the small events which aid the readers ability to understand why each larger event happens. To truly understand this book you must have some type of knowledge of the era. Without certain knowledge the details of this book may be slightly skewed. In general this book can be aceesed by anyone who chooses to open there mind to the topic.

My opinion of the book is in no way a surprise. I thourouly enjoyed the topic as well as the in depth explanations. The aspect that I enjoyed the most was that this book was written from truth. Many books nowadays are not actual accounts of the situations and often tend to very bias in particular areas. Tim O’Brien has proven to be a great author by providing great details of the Vietnam war through many various books. Each item the men have to carry represent the burdens of every day life as well as the life of war. I fully agree with this point of view because it is probably the most truthful account one can get without going to war themselves. In some cases he switches to a third person point of view to relay the images seen by the other men. I enjoyed this because it helped us feel the emotions rushing through each person at separate points in time. By being able to understand these emotions we then begin to in some small way feel what these men felt. By making us understand the people of the time we can also understand the experience which is the most valuable aspect of all.

Each book has its strong points and its weak points. Sometimes in this book Tim O’Brien tends to almost overdue the details. This is not necessarily a bad thing but can be somewhat annoying to the reader. Other than that almost every other aspect can be seen as strengthening the book. The greatest strength of this book lies in the knowledge and personal involvement of the author in the actrual event. It is in this area that I feel confident in the material im reading. He uses such strong details to describe even the smallest things such as the mens hands trembling before an almost smothering fog. In any case the strong points also lie in his ability to involve the reader in the ways of war as well as the emotional conflicts that are involved. By getting involved in the novel I was able to cut my own clear opinion on the topic. Tim O’Brien enables us to understand the situations and make our view of them. This shows yet another strong point in a very well organized novel.

With every word read from any book a reader gains some type of knowledge. By reading The Things They Carried I was able to really see the struggle. In some sense I could feel the struggle as well. Everyone has there own opinion about the Vietnam war but after reading this book mine had evolved. I was also able to understand the slang terminology situated around this era. By feeling such emotion over a very controversial situation I find myself at an advantage. I now understand the emotions and physical strains associated with war and its aftermath. I now understand why the veterans of such wars feel so strongly about the topic as they always do. I believe that the men and women who base an opinion on the Vietnam War without having any kind of involvement should reconsider there position. Most of the men in this book did not ask for such burdens. Many men tried to avoid them altogether. I feel that I have increased my understanding of the way the men, and the situations eveolve with warfare.

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