The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien

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The reality of war is that it is a brutal and inevitable part of society in today’s world. The soldiers embodied in The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien provide a vivid image of the physical and emotional burdens developed during the Vietnam War. Though the book is fictional, the obstacles the characters encounter are a direct reflection of difficulties that are true for many that serve our country. Many soldiers must learn to cope with not only the burdens of war, but with death itself.
Characters in The Things They Carried endured many hardships that create an element of truth within the novel. The character’s burdens are not only literal, but also figurative in the story. All the soldiers carried heavy loads physically such as guns and weapons, but also sensitively they dealt with emotional baggage. Henry Dobbins is the machine gunner that takes on the name “Soldier Jesus.” He expresses his want for love and reassurance when he carries his girlfriend’s pantyhose around his neck for good luck. Similarly, Jimmy Cross, lieutenant who is in charge of all the men, carries a picture...
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