Recent War Literature : By Phil Klay, And The Things They Carried By Tim O ' Brien

Recent War Literature : By Phil Klay, And The Things They Carried By Tim O ' Brien

Length: 1821 words (5.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

In the two novels of recent war literature Redeployment, by Phil Klay, and The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien, both call attention to the war’s destruction of its soldiers’ identities. With The Things They Carried, we are introduced to the story of a young Lieutenant Jimmy Cross who is currently fighting in the Vietnam War and holds a deep crush for his college-lover Martha. Jimmy carries many letters from Martha with him throughout the war, and he envisions this romantic illusion in which “more than anything, he want[s] Martha to love him as he love[s] her” (1). However, a conflict quickly transpires between his love for Martha and his responsibilities with the war, in which he is ultimately forced to make a decision between the two. Cross is forced to resolve this conflict by burning the “things” he carries that remind him of Martha in order to remain focused solely on the war. Similarly, in Redeployment, we are told the story of an American soldier named Sergeant Price and his journey returning home from the Iraq War. Many would assume that this would be a very peaceful and joyous reunion for Price and his family, however, several new struggles ensue for him instead. This is due to him becoming so accustomed to spending his life in the war that he can no longer comprehend what purpose and identity he holds removed from it. Given the severe monotony he was subjected to during the war, Price has now become just as prompt in making decisions at home as on the battlefield by no longer taking the time to “think” before acting. In fact, Price’s own dog named Vicar serves as a symbol to represent Price’s “civilian” mindset, which repeatedly conflicts with his “war” mindset until it is no longer bearable. Therefore, Price is force...

... middle of paper ...

...m. Also, the uncertainty of his life removed from the war is depicted when he refers to the state of Vicar’s body after being shot multiple times by expressing, “I stayed there staring at the sights for a while. Vicar was a blur of gray and black. The light was dimming. I couldn’t remember what I was going to do with the body” (16). This passage alludes to how much of a “blur” life has become for Price since leaving the war, as the things that were once important to his life such as Vicar are no longer “clear” to him by choosing the war over his humanity. In fact, instead of providing support for Price, Vicar only hinders him further. Even though the circumstances surrounding the relationships between Cross and Martha and Price and Vicar are substantially different, they both result in the same conclusion of the soldiers having to choose the war over their humanity.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Summary Of ' Bodies ' By Phil Klay Essay

- Redeployment, a national book award winner by author Phil Klay it is a powerful informative book about the Iraq war. It is compose of twelve incredible stories. The most memorable story for me is title “Bodies.” The title got my attention emotionally and logically. Making sense of life to readjust in the civilian world is the main theme of the story, which I believed it is a struggle to find direction to continue to live life and not just existed. Manipulation was another theme that maked the process of connecting with people less stressful....   [tags: Iraq War, 2003 invasion of Iraq]

Better Essays
720 words (2.1 pages)

Stories of the Vietnam War Illustrated in O’Brien’s The Things They Carried

- Tim O’Brien’s book, The Things They Carried, portrays stories of the Vietnam War. Though not one hundred percent accurate, the stories portray important historical events. The Things They Carried recovers Vietnam War history and portrays situations the American soldiers faced. The United States government represents a political power effect during the Vietnam War. The U. S. enters the war to prevent a communist takeover of South Vietnam. The U.S. government felt if communism spreads to South Vietnam, then it will spread elsewhere....   [tags: The Things They Carried]

Better Essays
830 words (2.4 pages)

Continuing to Be Affected by the Vietnam War: "The Things They Carried" and "Regret to Inform"

- In the novel The Things They Carried and the documentary Regret to Inform, people that were involved share their recollection of events that occurred during the Vietnam War. Consequently, both works also share the underlying idea that people are affected by the war even after it is done. They convey this meaning through the stories of mental and physical harm each witness deals and dealt with because of the war. The novel, The Things They Carried is a story of one man’s accounts resulting to his tour of duty in Vietnam....   [tags: Things They Carried, ]

Better Essays
1013 words (2.9 pages)

Lack of Morality in War Depicted in Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried

- Tim O’Brien’s book “The Things They Carried” epitomizes the degradation of morals that war produces. This interpretation is personified in the characters who gradually blur the line dividing right and wrong as the motives for war itself become unclear. The morality of soldiers and the purpose of war are tied also to the truth the soldiers must tell themselves in order to participate in the gruesome and random killing which is falsely justified by the U.S government. The lack of purpose in the Vietnam War permanently altered the soldier’s perspective of how to react to situations and in most cases they turned to violence to express their frustration....   [tags: Things They Carried]

Better Essays
1014 words (2.9 pages)

The Things They Carried By Tim O ' Brien Essay

- The human capacity for imagination, not only shapes our minds, but also helps coping with reality. Imagination creates stories that help the mind try to understand events in life. It is at first an escape from life, but also a way to reconcile with reality. In the end, what is imagined becomes truer than the real truth. According to Patrick Smith in Tim O’Brien: A Critical Companion, “Imagination is the beginning of telling of stories, which also becomes a lifeline, a way of coping…” (101). In The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, the imagination contributes to the storytelling of the Vietnam War by the narrator....   [tags: Vietnam War, Army, The Things They Carried]

Better Essays
1421 words (4.1 pages)

The Fear Of War By ' The Things They Carried ' Essay

- The Fear of War Roman philosopher and dramatist, Seneca the Younger, expresses “Worse than war is the fear of war” (…) Seneca the Younger describes the physical and emotional attributes that coincides with war. He further states the emotional or psychological burdens far outweigh those of the physical nature. Through the centuries long after Roman influence, this philosophy remains accurate into modern times. “The Things They Carried,” authored by a Vietnam veteran named Tim O’ Brien, expresses the notion of the mental agonies of war, specifically the Vietnam War, through the eyes of an army unit led by a young First Lieutenant named Jimmy Cross....   [tags: Vietnam War, Army, Vietnam, Cold War]

Better Essays
1517 words (4.3 pages)

Comparing O' Brien's The Things They Carried and Ninh's The Sorrow of War

- Comparing O' Brien's The Things They Carried and Ninh's The Sorrow of War        Bao Ninh's The Sorrow of War is a contrapuntal reading to American literature on the Vietnam War. But rather than stand in stark contrast to Tim O' Brien's The Things They Carried, The Sorrow of War is strangely similar, yet different at the same time. From a post-colonialist standpoint, one must take in account both works to get an accurate image of the war. The Sorrow of War is an excellent counterpoint because it is truthful....   [tags: Things They Carried Sorrow War Essays]

Better Essays
806 words (2.3 pages)

Essay on The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien

- The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien “The Things They Carried” was a story about soldiers caught in the confusion of the Vietnam War. There are a lot of apparent themes that are dealt with when writing a story about war, especially about death. I enjoyed reading this story; however there were some things about it that I was concerned about. I would like to discuss the author’s style of writing, his meaning of the title “The Things They Carried” and the way the author and his characters deal with death....   [tags: War Things Carried O'Brien]

Better Essays
1104 words (3.2 pages)

The Things They Carried and Herbert’s Article War is Personal Essay

- The Things They Carried and Herbert’s Article War is Personal Bob Herbert's article, "War is Personal," has many parallels to Tim O'Brien's novel The Things They Carried. Although O'Brien's novel deals with the Vietnam War and Herbert's article deals with the current war with Iraq, both describe the position of American soldiers and their struggle with living in war. O'Brien's novel is more personal than Herbert's objective article but both show the importance of trust, significance of pain, and the terror of young soldiers face....   [tags: Things They Carried Essays]

Free Essays
610 words (1.7 pages)

Impact of War in Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried Essay

- Impact of War in Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried For young people, the Vietnam War is a thing of the past and they can only learn about it from second hand sources. In Tim O'brien's The Things They Carried, it becomes very apparent that the Vietnam conflict has proved to be one that many of the participants have not been able move away from, while getting on with their lives. O²brien shows that the conflict takes on a parasitic form that eats away on its victims for the rest of their lives....   [tags: Things They Carried Essays]

Free Essays
556 words (1.6 pages)