People may recognize the bravery for the soldiers actions of being away from their loved ones and them putting their lives in harm's way, but most do not really understand the true suffering they go through as a person or as a group, both physically and, most importantly, mentally. Soldiers “carry” many heavy things with them throughout their time in war. In “The Things They Carried” by Tim O'Brien, he uses his personal experiences in the war that led him to write this book about a traumatic story that could only be told by one who has experienced it himself. In it the author tells of all the baggage that his men and he himself had to “carry” as a symbol to say that war does change people. In the beginning of this story you learn that the narrator also happens to be Lieutenant Jimmy Cross.
Not only does this novel tell us readers about his particular experiences, but The Things They Carried also gives insight on the other soldiers and their stories about their missions while fighting for our country as well. With the Vietnam War being one of the most brutal wars to fight, these soldiers had interesting stories to tell, and with these stories being told about their experience in the Vietnam, it should make people realize the war is not an easy task and everyone is not built for it, and that our nation needs to support our troops. First off, when Tim O'Brien wrote the novel, he titled it The Things They Carried, although he could have easily named the novel The Things I Carried, but he didn't because he knows that he was not in this alone. Each and every soldier has a different story to be told not only about their life prior to war, but when they were there as well. For example, Lieutenant Jimmy Cross is a platoon leader who is also the protagonist in the short story The Things They Carried.
Further more, it just goes to show that soldiers not only carry physical things like guns, food or good luck charms. They can carry the emotions that come with war such as: being away from home, being forced into war and not knowing if they will make it back alive. The soldiers also carry the changes of war. They were sent off young and innocent only to come back completely different, just like the case of Mary Anne. War is more then just a battle between waring nations, it's a psychological battle.
In The Things They Carried, there are many emotional burdens that each solider has to withstand. These burdens are, for the most part, physically present in everyday life as a soldier, while others, like the love of someone back home, may not be as physically noticeable. The book follows the life of Lt. Jimmy Cross, the leader of a regiment fighting during the Vietnam War. The Vietnam War was perceived as a terrible time of slaughter, guerilla warfare, and protests of peace on the home front. Throughout The Vietnam War, the United States helped fight alongside the Southern Vietnamese army, whose ultimate goal was to over throw the Communist Northern Vietnamese government and hopefully reunite the land under a better ruling.
O'Brien's many descriptions of what is carried on these men's backs makes the reader feel the weight of what these men were fighting for. This powerful writing also makes the reader feel as though they too are walking next to the Alpha Company in the battle field. The "things" each man carries are literal and figurative. The physical load each man carries oversees the emotional load. Henry Dobbins carries items belonging to his girlfriend which symbolizes his desire for comfort and affection.
In Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried the issue of maturity is an ever occurring theme within the novel that sets out to tackle and open up for discussion of it on a broader level. Specifically within the chapters "Friends" and "Enemies" it is clear that both Lee Strunk and Dave Jensen are wedged in a personal psychological war. This issue faces many young adults but is perverted by the war and the tragic loss of innocent life. Many feel that the purpose of O'Brien's The Things They Carried is to show hardships and reality of war. While that is true, the most important issue and debate brought up is the rapid transformation of our young soldiers while they have to face the atrocities of war.
The Things They Carried is a famous novel that depicts the truths of war. It shows the burdens war creates, the fear of shame and how it acts as a motivator and how a narrator can manipulate a reader. Through these different themes O’Brien gets into deeper meaning about his experiences in the war through these characters. Each character went through a certain experience that changed their lives. The Vietnam War was something these men became; it lives inside each and every man until the day they die.
“The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien is a short story written about the Vietnam War. The title has two meanings. The first is their duties and equipment for the war. The second, the emotional sorrows they were put through while at war. Their wants and needs, the constant worry of death were just a few of the emotional baggage they carried.
The causes of the war led to very emotional times for not only the families and loved ones but by the soldiers who had to face the horrific war. All-in-all despite the horrible outcomes for the soldiers with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or Vietnam syndrome, the United States helped South Vietnam and North Vietnam become unified into one
There are many elements use to describe pain and suffering during novels such as, A Rumor of War and the other works that represent war and the other topics within war. Without this common element within these books and other works, war would not be accurately represented. Pain and suffering is a common element used as a tool in literary works such as, A Rumor of War. In the book, Caputo describes the horrendous sights that he saw while serving in his tours overseas. He vividly recalls how he felt while having to write death reports about soldiers, “All reports had to be written in that clinical, euphemistic language military prefers to simple English.