Free Things They Carried Essays: Communists and Capitalists

Free Things They Carried Essays: Communists and Capitalists

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Communists and Capitalists in The Things They Carried  


The Vietnam War was directly related to the Cold War, where the communists and the capitalists used balance-of-power politics to keep the other from dominating the world. Yet, there was a role reversal amongst the soldiers fighting for the capitalists and democracy. Many of the soldiers made deals amongst themselves, which were in essence communist, stating that should one become injured or severely wounded, their "buddy" would end the soldier's suffering by killing him. This is seen in "Enemies" and "Friends".


"Enemies" and "Friends" tell the tale of two soldiers who initially do not get along, but through the course of the war, form a bond that holds even through death. In the opening sentence, O'Brien says, "Lee Strunk and Dave Jensen got into a fistfight."(62) In doing so, he shows the high tensions of the entire war. The friction and animosity are evident between the USSR and the USA and North Vietnam and South Vietnam, but to show the tension within the same army proves just how drastic...

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