During times of war, man is exposed to the most gruesome aspects of life such as death, starvation, and imprisonment. In some cases, the aftermath is even more disastrous, causing posttraumatic stress disorder, constant guilt, as well as physical and mental scarring, but these struggles are not the only things that humans can take away from the experience. War can bring out the appreciation of the little things in life, such as the safety people take for granted, the beauty of nature, and the kindness of others. These universal consequences of fighting all contribute to what war is really capable of doing, sometimes bringing out the best and worst in people, and constantly shaping society. In The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien goes through this himself when he writes about setting up base camp in the Vietnamese pagoda, the return to site of Kiowa’s death, the story about the old poppa-san guide, and Mitchell Sanders’ “moment of peace”. When O’Brien includes these stories, it is not to insert joy into a tragedy, but rather to create a more wholesome and authentic feel into a tough, realistic war story. O’Brien’s’ “sweet” stories are there to show the hope he had during war, and also serve as a universal example that even in the darkest tunnels, it is always possible to find rays of light.
Setting up base camp in the church is included in O’Brien’s memoir to serve as a reminder of the calm and human kindness that is found during war. Staying in the peaceful church provided the platoon an opportunity to see a unique and personal side of Vietnam, one where the people “...brought us buckets of water. (O’Brien, 119)” and “... were very kind to all of us... (O’Brien, 120)”. This story brings out some of the less definitive qualities ...
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...r own “sweet” part in the most bitter of times by writing about the his personal experiences of discovering human kindness during the Vietnam War. The deepest moral of the novel is hope. He tries to send out a message that people will be able to endure anything if they can find hope. When the shock of Kiowa’s death shocked O’Brien, he found hope that things would get better and recovered to later honor his friend through writing and freeing his spirit. When Mitchell Sanders was stuck in living hell, he takes a second to notice how perfect nature was, despite the ongoing war, and understands that nature and life shall never cease existence and uses it to motivate himself. This revelation and positivity of all the joyous moments that are possible during war make this story easily relatable to any person of the “real world” that has had to endure anguish and suffering.
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In the story “Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong” by Tim O’Brien, the story is taking place during the beginning of the Vietnam war in the Quảng Ngãi Province of Tra Bong in Vietnam. We are introduced to Mark Fossie,a member of the medical corps that are stationed in Cui Lai or also known as Danang. War time is hard on everyone, and it can have a hard impact on the soldiers that are stationed in the various places. This story explains the fact that war can be a terrible and feared place to be by showing us an example of what happens with Mary Anne and Mark Fossie.
This book review praises the format that O’Brien used in his novel, The Things They Carried and commends the cohesion it has with the realities of war. Jones, a writer for Newsweek comments that O’Brien does not romanticise the death of his fellow soldiers making their deaths seem more heroic than what they actually were. Jones acknowledges that it was a messy war, so the format of the stories being told about it should reflect that. O’Brien outlines the realities of war in this novel, and does not sugar coat it at all.
‘The Things They Carried’ by Tim O’Brien provides a insider’s view of war and its distractions, both externally in dealing with combat and internally dealing with the reality of war and its effect on each solder. The story, while set in Vietnam, is as relevant today with the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan as it was in the 1960’s and 1970’s in Southeast Asia. With over one million soldiers having completed anywhere from one to three tours in combat in the last 10 years, the real conflict might just be inside the soldier. O’Brien reflects this in his writing technique, using a blend of fiction and autobiographical facts to present a series of short narratives about a small unit of soldiers. While a war story, it is also an unrequited love story too, opening with Jimmy Cross holding letters from a girl he hoped would fall in love with him. (O’Brien 1990).
In Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, the readers follow the Alpha Company’s experiences during the Vietnam War through the telling’s of the main character and narrator, Tim. At the beginning of the story, Tim describes the things that each character carries, also revealing certain aspects of the characters as can be interpreted by the audience. The book delineates what kind of person each character is throughout the chapters. As the novel progresses, the characters’ personalities change due to certain events of the war. The novel shows that due to these experiences during the Vietnam War, there is always a turning point for each soldier, especially as shown with Bob “Rat” Kiley and Azar. With this turning point also comes the loss of innocence for these soldiers. O’Brien covers certain stages of grief and self-blame associated with these events in these stories as well in order to articulate just how those involved felt so that the reader can imagine what the effects of these events would be like for them had they been a part of it.
When many think of a great, memorable story, they will probably remember an inspirational or coming of age novel, or Bildungsroman. In many ways, The Things They Carried is an exemplary Bildungsroman as it carries the reader through the lives and problems of every soldier within its pages. Each man is witnessed as he goes through his own maturation and personal times of struggle and hardships. Some are focused on more than others, but each man has a story to tell, each a moral to teach. Throughout The Things They Carried, both Tim O?Brien and Mark Fossie experience a significant amount of personal maturation by gaining new knowledge about themselves, the Vietnam War, and the world around them.
Stories can save us. Each day we live our lives we are given the chance to believe and tell stories. In Tim O’Brien’s novel, The Things They Carried, we are able to get a more personal approach on the ways in which the soldiers coped with the unforgettable memories and images; that would be with them for the rest of their lives. No matter how tough these men were, they were not physically, mentally, or emotionally prepared for what the Vietnam War had in store for them. At the beginning, the narrator O’Brien says, “for the most part they carried themselves with poise, a kind of dignity” (20). After the war, the psychological burdens the men carried during the war continue to haunt them and define who they are. Those who survive carry guilt
...ust deal with similar pains. Through the authors of these stories, we gain a better sense of what soldiers go through and the connection war has on the psyche of these men. While it is true, and known, that the Vietnam War was bloody and many soldiers died in vain, it is often forgotten what occurred to those who returned home. We overlook what became of those men and of the pain they, and their families, were left coping with. Some were left with physical scars, a constant reminder of a horrible time in their lives, while some were left with emotional, and mental, scarring. The universal fact found in all soldiers is the dramatic transformation they all undergo. No longer do any of these men have a chance to create their own identity, or continue with the aspirations they once held as young men. They become, and will forever be, soldiers of the Vietnam War.
"The Things They Carried," is a fiction story-telling book about the Vietnam War by Tim O'Brien that describes the physical and emotional burdens the men carry not only during their time in Vietnam but also years after leaving the warfront. The book is a series of stories told with O'Brien as the main narrator. O'Brien tells of the journey he takes alongside his unit, revealing his fight for courage and decision to commit to the serving in the war. It is a groundbreaking meditation on war, memory, imagination and the redemptive power of storytelling.
One of the most serious problems facing all veterans today is the lack of proper healthcare. Soldiers, sailors and airmen are leaving active duty without having proper healthcare to cover their physical or mental injuries. The department responsible for veteran’s healthcare is the Department of Veterans Affairs. (VA) According to The department of Veterans Affairs website, “The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is a government-run military veteran benefit system with Cabinet-level status. It is responsible for administering programs of veterans’ benefits for veterans, their families, and survivors. The benefits provided include disability compensation, pension, education, home loans, life insurance, vocational rehabilitation, survivors’ benefits, medical benefits and burial benefits. It is administered by the United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs.” The VA, who was formerly called the Veterans Administration, was established 21 July 1930, to consolidate and coordinate government activities affecting war veterans. The VA encompassed the functions of the former U.S. Veterans' Bureau, the Bureau of Pensions of the Interior Department and the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers. On 25 October 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed legislation creating a new federal Cabinet-level Department of Veterans Affairs to replace the Veterans Administration effective 15 March 1989 (V.A.)
In The Things They Carried, an engaging novel of war, author Tim O’Brien shares the unique warfare experience of the Alpha Company, an assembly of American military men that set off to fight for their country in the gruesome Vietnam War. Within the novel, the author O’Brien uses the character Tim O’Brien to narrate and remark on his own experience as well as the experiences of his fellow soldiers in the Alpha Company. Throughout the story, O’Brien gives the reader a raw perspective of the Alpha Company’s military life in Vietnam. He sheds light on both the tangible and intangible things a soldier must bear as he trudges along the battlefield in hope for freedom from war and bloodshed. As the narrator, O’Brien displayed a broad imagination, retentive memory, and detailed descriptions of his past as well as present situations. 5. The author successfully uses rhetoric devices such as imagery, personification, and repetition of O’Brien to provoke deep thought and allow the reader to see and understand the burden of the war through the eyes of Tim O’Brien and his soldiers.
When a soldier enlists in the United States military they make a promise to serve and protect our nation, putting their lives at risk to help keep America safe. Sadly when they finish their service they unknowingly enlist themselves in another war: to receive proper health care from VA. Things like long waiting times, understaffed facilities, and few care options for veterans in rural areas are just the beginning of the problems plaguing VA health care. Horrifying issues that are killing our veteran are beginning to surface such as employees falsifying records, outdated facilities spreading diseases, and patient neglect; all while key VA officials continue to scramble to cover things up. Our government must intervene quickly to fix the growing problems with VA health care so our veterans receive the care they were promised and should be receiving.
Some authors choose to write stories and novels specifically to evoke certain emotions from their readers as opposed to writing it for just a visual presentation. In order to do this, they occasionally stretch the truth and “distort” the event that actually occurred. The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien, is a compilation of short stories about the Vietnam War with distortion being a key element in each of them.
The Things They Carried is a collection of stories about the Vietnam War that the author, Tim O’Brien, uses to convey his experiences and feelings about the war. The book is filled with stories about the men of Alpha Company and their lives in Vietnam and afterwards back in the United States. O’Brien captures the reader with graphic descriptions of the war that make one feel as if they were in Vietnam. The characters are unique and the reader feels sadness and compassion for them by the end of the novel. To O’Brien the novel is not only a compilation of stories, but also a release of the fears, sadness, and anger that he has felt because of the Vietnam War.