The Things They Carried

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After the devastation that World War II left the world, no one wanted to go into another war. Families lost their members, countries lost their dignity, and some soldiers were left with the moments of war forever in their minds. However, the concern that communism was going to spread made Vietnam become the longest war in American History. During this time a lot of young people were anti-war, they were sick of losing people they loved to violence. Though the war still needed to be fought so men became soldiers freely or because they were drafted. In the story “Things They Carried”, soldiers are faced head on with the Vietnam War. Tim O’Brien shows how the men carry the weight of physical objects through out the war. The men bog themselves down with physical objects that they do not necessarily need yet, they can drop them at anytime. On the other hand, it is the emotional baggage the soldiers carry that makes the most weight. One of the biggest emotions the soldiers carry is fear, because they are constantly in danger of war. Fear can cause more than just terror and panic, but cowardliness as well. Even through all soldiers hold emotional baggage, what separates them is what each one carries with them or does to help them deal with the emotions. However, what Jimmy Cross carries with him only makes his emotions dig deeper into him and causes him to carry more guilt and pain than any other soldier in the story.

The frightful sounds of war can make any human being shiver. Bullets constantly flying through the air, right over soldiers’ heads can make them petrified. Grenades being tossed over from beyond a soldier’s sight can make them panic. Bombs being dropped from above can cause a soldier to want to run for cover. Mark D. Van El...

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...hey are at war so fear never escapes them. Cowardliness is burden that comes to the soldiers who can find no way to deal with the horror of war. All the soldiers in the story, “The Things They Carried” are all the same because they all have ways to deal with their emotional baggage. However, what makes them different is what they physically carry around with them to help them deal with their emotions. Lieutenant Jimmy Cross is separated from the other soldiers because what he carries only makes his emotional baggage heavier. Cross is suppose to be a strong leader because of his superior rank, yet the things he carries causes him to be more vulnerable. The Vietnam War was never really won by anyone. A lot of people never even knew why the soldiers were over their with their load of emotions to begin with. However, lives were lost and emotional burdens were carried.
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