The Effects Of War In Tim O Brien's The Things They Carried

1824 Words8 Pages
In Tim O’Brien’s, The things They Carried, he explores many ideas, like the loss of innocence in young people at war, the effects of losing a friend at war, the dehumanization of soldiers at war and even soldiers superstitions at war. The things They Carried tells the story of young soldiers fighting in the Vietnam War. It shows how difficult the war is for them as well as how difficult returning home can be when they do not fit in anymore because of their experiences. In his collection of short stories, The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien explores the effects of war on young people and how war can affect people permanently. Tim O’Brien shows the effects of war by showing how war could make people do things they wouldn 't normally do. In the chapter “How to Tell a True War Story”, O’Brien explains how one time when the men were hiking in the mountains of Vietnam, they came across a baby buffalo. They then capture the animal and lead it back to camp with them to set…show more content…
While Tim is outside of My Khe on lookout, he is startled by the appearance of a Vietnamese soldier. Without any thought, he throws a grenade at him and the soldier dies almost instantly. Seeing the gruesome impact of the grenade on the man’s body, he freezes up. He can’t talk or move for hours afterward. Kiowa being the most religious one of the platoon tells him to shake it off. “I’ll tell you straight truth, the guy was dead the second he stepped on the trail. Understand me? We all had him zeroed. A good kill--weapon,ammunition,everything. So listen,you best pull your shit together. Can’t just sit here all day”(129).When Kiowa says this, it’s almost ironic because Kiowa is the most religious character of the entire novel and to hear him say something like this shows how he has lost some of his morals about death and how he thinks that killing this man was justified and not a heinous act of
Open Document