Book Reports / The Things They Carried
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Autor: anton 19 November 2010
Words: 682 | Pages: 3
Many traits of manÐŽÂ¦s inner nature are revealed through war. In the novel The Things They Carried, the characters of this series of stories embody traits of soldiers in the Vietnam War. Through writing, the author, Tim OÐŽÂ¦Brien, portrays his feelings as a Vietnam soldier through this novel. He describes the loss of three fellow soldiers, Ted Lavender, Curt Lemon, and Kiowa and depicts the guilt and blame these deaths evoke.
Ted LavenderÐŽÂ¦s death increased the intangible guilt the platoon carried. No one was anticipating death because the platoon was resting. The platoon was the on the verge of celebrating because they had just accomplished a very dangerous and life-risking mission. When Lavender was shot, there was a sense of shock that rippled through the platoon. All the soldiers had different ways of coping with his death. Kiowa would not stop talking about how he fell to the ground: quick and heavy. He coped by repeating the story until it was completely worn out. Unfortunately, Lieutenant Jimmy Cross took LavenderÐŽÂ¦s death the hardest. He blamed himself because he felt he was wasting his thoughts on Martha, the girl he loved. Lieutenant Cross suffered guilt and unforgiveness because he knew that he should have been looking out for his men, instead of thinking about Martha.
Another death that created a crater of grief on the platoon was Curt Lemon. This death was another silly accident, one that could have been completely avoided. Curt Lemon and Rat Kiley were best friends, and Lemon died when they were fooling around, and not thinking about the dangers of the war. Lemon died a very gruesome death and Rat Kiley had a very difficult time dealing with it. He could not bear to see his best friend in shreds and dangling in the trees. He ended up shooting a baby buffalo to death. This radiates a sense of anger, shock, and sadness, much like Ted LavenderÐŽÂ¦s death. Rat Kiley must have felt angry, because he knew that it could have been avoided, and the reason he died was stupid and dumb, because they were playing around. He experienced shock because the way Lemon died was very quick and fast. In an instant: ÐŽÂ§He was playing catch with Rat Kiley, laughing, and then he was dead.ÐŽÐ In addition, the fact that he was torn into pieces didnÐŽÂ¦t help, even if Rat Kiley was a medic. It would eventually cost him the price of insanity.
The last death created a large plethora of emotions throughout the platoon. This was the death of Kiowa. The source of the soldiersÐŽÂ¦ heavy guilt was KiowaÐŽÂ¦s optimism and piety. He had good morale and standards, which made it seem like he should not have died the way he did. Everyone on the platoon was blaming themselves; imagining what should have been done differently, and what could have happened instead. The young soldier thought that he would not have died if he had not shined the flashlight. Norman Bowker blamed himself because he knew that he could have saved him, but he could not handle the overwhelming smell. Lieutenant Cross held himself responsible because he knew he should have camped out in a different area, and he should have listened to the native people. The rest of the platoon blamed themselves because they watched him die while knowing they could do nothing about it. KiowaÐŽÂ¦s death created a swell of regret and sadness throughout the platoon.
These three deaths sprouted similar for all the men, but all of them coped and struggled with each death in different ways. They blamed themselves for Ted LavenderÐŽÂ¦s, Curt LemonÐŽÂ¦s, and KiowaÐŽÂ¦s deaths for their own reasons. The soldiers would have to deal with feelings of guilt and self-blame forever because they held themselves liable for their friendsÐŽÂ¦ deaths. The remaining men can only learn to forgive and free themselves from the blame and guilt through time.
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