Things They Carried Essay: The Living Dead

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The Living Dead in The Things They Carried I have done things that I am not proud of and some things that will never be mentioned in public again. In everything that I did wrong I tried to justify or make it seem to be less of a negative act. Tim O'Brien does not do this in his short story named "The Man I Killed." O'Brien instead gives the young Vietnamese man a history, a present, and a whole life. He does this by creating an elaborate story of teenage love, family conflict, and personal pride. O'Brien was a solider in the Vietnam War, fighting against the communism. He has wrote the book The Things They Carried, about his personal experiences as a solider. The environment that he was in was one of constant death and unending turmoil. Most of the death he writes about was concerning his fellow comrades. After seeing all this and the needless deaths of Vietnam civilians it should harden the heart of a fighting man. O'Brien seems to be different he is still powerfully effected by the gunning down of this young man, who belonged to the communist group. The death of the Vietnamese solider lingers in O'Brien's mind for what seemed like an eternity to him. He vividly recalls the shape of his body noticing the most minuet details. The deceased boy was considered to be a dainty young man, clean fingernails, light freckles on his forehead and a frail and fragile figure. O'Brien uses great detail in describing the body after multiple bullet wounds. He explains how the left cheek is peeled back, that the spinal cord was open through his neck, and of all things a gold ring on his right hand the third finger down. The gold ring is the point which Tim forges a young lover for the young man. From the frail image of his body, O'Brien deems the departed as a scholar who was at school when he met his young love of seventeen years old. O'Brien considers her to have an admiration for the narrow waist and cowlick that rose on the back of his head. the young scholar was a mathematician and enjoyed school. This scholar was unable to defend himself and was constantly picked on by the school yard bullies. He would pray at night with his mother for an end of the war.
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