Free Essay: Tim O'Brien's Things They Carried

Free Essay: Tim O'Brien's Things They Carried

Length: 775 words (2.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓


The Things They Carried

 

          Vietnam War was one of the hardest wars ever fought.  There are several reasons for this statement.  It was basically impossible to conquer the territory because there were no boundaries.  The soldiers had to put up with the climate, land, diseases and most importantly themselves.  This essay is about yet another reason: the relationship between the soldiers and the officers.

 

          It is very reasonable to say that American soldiers entering the Vietnam were not disciplined enough.  The average age of a soldier in Vietnam was eighteen.  Nobody found it necessary to train these kids to handle all the problems they run into.  The service ruined their late childhood and they had to grow up early!  If anything went wrong, they would simply blame the officer in charge.  Tim O'Brien illustrated this nicely in his story In The Field.  Lieutenant Jimmy Cross felt guilty for Kiowa's death.  He blamed himself for not thinking about his troops even though he did what he was supposed to do.  Couple of soldiers were pissed off about Kiowa's death.  They blamed it all on Lieutenant even though they knew it was not his fault.  Then they let their emotions out and the situation turned to be out of control.  O'Brien describes it syntactically.  He is trying to persuade us that all the soldiers knew Jimmy was not guilty, but some soldiers just had to blame it on somebody.

 

 " 'Some lieutenant,' Sanders said.  'Camps us in a toilet.  Man don't know shit.'

'Nobody knew,' Bowker said.

'Maybe so, maybe not.  Ten billion places we could've set up last night, the man picks a latrine.'

...'It wasn't the LT's fault,' Bowker said quietly.

'Whose then?'

'Nobody's.  Nobody knew till afterward.' " (180).

 

          This entire incident was by far the toughest on Jimmy Cross.  He had to deal with himself and his corrupt soldiers.  He was emotionally shook up with Kiowa's death and he did not appreciate Mitchell's reaction.  Accidents like this one lead to a distant relationship between the officer and the soldiers.  Soldiers usually protest and officers have to punish them.  This of course leads to more violence and some of the outcomes can be deadly.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Free Essay: Tim O'Brien's Things They Carried." 123HelpMe.com. 26 Jan 2020
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=15215>.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Essay on What is Love? Tim OBrien's The Things They Carried

- Have you ever felt the feeling of butterflies in your stomach or heard the phrase “my heart skipped a beat for you”. As children, we grew up learning from our elders and experiencing new beginnings in life. Much of our knowledge has been brought upon by what we see and hear, rather of what we know. Many important decisions we make in our life has to do with what our feelings show us. Love is an important matter in our life because it motivates us in different ways. Love can be shown through emotions or even through actions....   [tags: Love, Actions, Emotions]

Research Papers
2291 words (6.5 pages)

Wilfred Owen's Dulce Et Decorum Est, Tim OBrien's The Things They Carried, and Siegfried Sassoon's Suicide in the Trenches

- Wilfred Owen's Dulce Et Decorum Est, Tim OBrien's The Things They Carried, and Siegfried Sassoon's Suicide in the Trenches Many war pieces express a distinct sense of truth, hatred, and anger that can be found in the style, tone, and imagery they possess. Incredible images are created in ones mind as war writings are read and heard. Works written by such writers as Siegfried Sassoon, Wilfred Owen, and Tim OBrien really reach out to the audience by way of the authors choice of words and images that they use in their writing....   [tags: Owen Dulce OBrien Carried Sassoon Essays]

Research Papers
1362 words (3.9 pages)

War and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in The Things They Carried by Tim Obrien

- Being in war is definitely one of the most life changing events a person will ever have whether it be for the better or for the worst. Soldiers will witness events that are impossible to forget or see back at home in the states. Some soldiers may have even seen one of their best friends that they’ve known for forever get blown up into pieces right next to them, or they might even get one of their own limbs blown off of their own bodies, becoming handicapped for life. As a result of seeing something so intense like that, most soldiers are usually traumatized....   [tags: soldiers, war, suicide, homelessness]

Research Papers
1622 words (4.6 pages)

The Horrors of War: Coping In The Things They Carried Essay

- Author and Vietnam veteran Tim Obrien writes of the horrors of the Vietnam War through a collection of related short stories in his novel, The Things They Carried. It is a work of fiction mixed with bits of truth based on his experiences during the war. The novel is heralded by many as a modern classic and one of the quintessential novels to read in a lifetime. The novel has inspired two feature films, and can be found on the required reading lists of high school history classes and college literature courses across the United States....   [tags: Tim Obrien, Vietnam veteran stories]

Research Papers
1552 words (4.4 pages)

Change In The Things They Carried Essay examples

- Change In The Things They Carried a war novel by Tim O'Brien, we are told many short stories compiled to make a whole. I want to emphasis on the importance of the chapter "Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong". In this chapter we are introduced to the character Mary Anne. She shows the changing power of Vietnam, that a sweet innocent young girl can come into this land and be forever consumed by her surroundings. The speaker show us this through character action, character description, dialogue and metaphor; this enhances the literary work by showing us that the soldiers will always be a part of Vietnam no matter how hard they try to get away from it....   [tags: Tim O'Brien OBrien]

Research Papers
1623 words (4.6 pages)

Coping Mechanisms in Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried Essay

- During the Vietnam war, soldiers were not exposed to the traditional coping mechanisms of our American society, as illustrated in Tim Obrien's The Things They Carried. These men were forced to discover and invent new ways to deal with the pressures of war, using only their resources while in the Vietnamese jungle. It was not possible for any soldier to carry many items or burdens with them, but if something was a necessity, a way was found to carry it, and coping mechanisms were a necessity to survive the war....   [tags: The Things They Carried Essays]

Research Papers
1515 words (4.3 pages)

The Thing 's They Carried By Tim Obrien Essay

- Tim Obrien’s novel, “The Thing’s They Carried,” centralized on the belief that storytelling can save our lives. When stories are told we look for meaning within the stories. Stories affect people in many different ways, and sometimes trying to tell a whole story does not always tell the real truth. He uses storytelling to deal with the loss and grief he encountered during the Vietnam War. Although he is sharing his stories post-war, he challenges his readers in deciding which stories are actually considered true war stories....   [tags: Life, Emotion, Army, Death]

Research Papers
1261 words (3.6 pages)

The Things They Carried by Tim O'brien Essay

- Tim O’Brien wrote the novel The Things They Carried in 1990, twenty years after the war in Vietnam.In the novel,Obrien takes us through the life of many soliders by telling stories that do not go in chronical order. In doing so we get to see the physical and mental things the soldiers carry throughout the war in Vietnam.Yet the novel is more than just a description of a particular war. In the things they carried Tim O’Brien develops the characters in the book slowly, to show the gradual effect war has on a person....   [tags: vietnam war, soldiers]

Research Papers
1168 words (3.3 pages)

The Things They Carried By Tim O ' Brien Essay

- In Tim O”Briens short story, The Things They Carried, clearly depicts the things the soldiers carried in order to push through and the challenges they faced daily in order to survive, but there is such a greater meaning behind the story. Tim O’Brien speak from the heart and makes the story connect with the reader, which in fact, makes the physical things the soldiers carry an emotional burden as well. To make that easier he disguises actual real life events with fiction. The majority of his book is fiction with some real life scenarios intertwined....   [tags: Fiction, Short story, Character, Novel]

Research Papers
1588 words (4.5 pages)

Story Truth Vs. Happening Truth Using Tim Obrien's work Essays

- The Effect of "Story Truth" vs. "Happening Truth" Literature is such a beautiful thing because it does not give us an answer to it's questions. There are so many iffy spots that leave us to develop our own thoughts and feelings toward the piece of work. This is an interesting factor because at many times it affects us in a different way and can develop us as an individual. When reading a piece of literature, one person can interpret it in different ways than another person reading the same piece of work....   [tags: Tim O'brien]

Research Papers
645 words (1.8 pages)

Related Searches

  As the war was going on, the fragging also increased in Vietnam.  Soldiers were most unlikely unsatisfied with their officers.  They wanted to be involved in the decision making but the officers had to follow the orders from above.  This is a very touchy topic because the officers really have to abide by the directions.  Soldiers also are right because their lives are involved.

 

          This selection of The Things They Carried contains few good examples of the syntactic and paratactic styles of writing.

 

          "Jimmy Cross did not want the responsibility of leading these men.  He had never wanted it.  In his sophomore year at Mount Sebastian College he had signed up for the Reserve Officer Training Corpse without much thought.  An automatic thing: because his friends had joined, and because it was worth a few credits, and because it seemed preferable to letting the draft take him.  He was unprepared.  Twenty-four years old and his heart wasn't in it.  Military matters meant nothing to him" (190).

 

          This paragraph is a perfect example of syntactic style of writing.  O'Brien wants to justify Lieutenant Cross.  He really tried to tell us that LT did not plan or want Kiowa to die.  He tried to tell us that it was some external force that caused Kiowa's death.  The basic interpretation of his intention is that sometimes some things happen and you cannot prevent them no matter how hard you try.  Lieutenant worked hard to follow the commands and those commands were costly for Kiowa.  He was trained to follow orders precisely.  Jimmy Cross had nothing to do with making those orders and O'Brien wants us to know that.

 

          "At daybreak the platoon of eighteen soldiers formed into a loose rank and began wading side by side through the deep muck of the shit field.  They moved slowly in the rain.  Leaning forward, heads down, they used the butts of their weapons as probes, wading across the field to the river and then turning and wading back again.  They were tired and miserable; all they wanted know was to get it finished" (185).

 

          The above paragraph is a typical example of a paratactic writing.  It is very clear, straightforward and self-explanatory.  It describes the action of the group of soldiers and there is no hidden meaning between the words.  O'Brien meant exactly what the words said.

 

 
Return to 123HelpMe.com