John Irvin’s movie Hamburger Hill and Tim O’Brien’s essay “The Things They Carried” provide fictionalized accounts of the firsthand experiences of soldiers in the Vietnam War. Both works showed how the young men who participated in the war prepared to go into battle and described the toll that battle took on them once they found themselves in combat…
Irvin’s film showed that one of the first things that the soldiers faced when arriving “in country” was a stark reminder of the serous risk to their lives, as they were asked to sign insurance papers and various other legal forms in case they did not survive. This legal reminder of the danger that faced them was backed up by a serious of training talks given them while in camp, including sessions showing them how serious, stealthy, and committed their enemies were, and even how such normal personal concerns such as hygiene and communication could lead to injury or death. At every level, the new recruits were told to follow orders and to respect their fellow soldiers, and they were told that the only way they would come out alive is if they stuck together. This was perhaps the major theme of Irvin’s film and it played a strong element in O’Brien’s essay, in the story of the dead soldier Lavender, who died because he wandered off. This process of early acclimation also included instruction on the use of weapons and the necessity of negotiating the many different factors that they would face during the war, from physical wounds to sexually transmitted diseases to psychological wounds from opinions of the people back home when they returned. O’Brien describes the variety of planned and makeshift provisions that the soldiers carried with them into battle, including bug spray, odd superstitious charms, and varieties of weapons. Each man carried their own materials, but O’Brien’s essay suggests and Irvin’s film represents that they also carried their humanity, their hopes and fears. Only in the battle did they also learn to love each and appreciate each other and stick together. Irvin’s film spends a great deal of time in the early moments showing the soldiers horsing around and fighting, listening to music and playing cards, in order to stress the need for camaraderie among the soldiers. One of the keys to this camaraderie was following their leader without question. While the new recruits learned to take this lesson in stride during the early training, they didn’t quite believe it. When they are dropped in the combat zone at minute 41:20, one new recruit tries to calm the nerves of another by saying “these guys know what they’re doing” in regard to their officers. The nervous recruit replied with a sarcastic “Oh yeah, definitely.” By the end of the film, all such sarcasm had disappeared. They had seen the necessity of trusting one another and pulling together in the heat of fire. They had learned that their leaders and the bravery of their fellow soldiers was perhaps the most important thing ensuring their survival. O’Brien’s essay echoes this sentiment, as he relays the feelings of the fictional leader of the platoon he describes. He shows how Lt. Cross takes personally the loss of soldier under his command because he lost focus for a moment. He claims that Cross “felt the pain... blamed himself” (p. 6). He had become distracted by his own humanity and his own personal needs for a moment and the soldier had wandered off, not to fight but to urinate. He was killed. Both works stress the way soldiers kept each other honest and diligent, looking out for each other even as they argued among each other. One of the major themes that Irvin emphasizes throughout his film is the difficulties of navigating race ...
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The author successfully brings to fore the burden of intangible things that the soldiers carried in their mind, while superficially alluding to the regular accouterments they had to carry, when on march. The story is imbued with much symbolism and irony. The Things they Carried: a Summary Review The Things they Carried is a gripping short story by Tim O’Brien that delves on the experiences of a platoon of the American soldiers deployed in the Vietnam War.
The Things They Carried is an influential reflection regarding the incidents experienced by the foot soldiers in Vietnam War. It is a collection of short stories written by Tim O'Brien, in which the first story is also named as The Things They Carried. In this story, the writer launches the characters that continue to appear throughout the collection of stories.
The author presents himself as a Protagonist based on complicated fiction in the form of an autobiography. To fully praise the quality of writing, the readers must first realize that the story is fictional rather than based on historical accounts (O'Brien, n.p.).
Nobody hears nothing".
For Tim O'Brien, war is brutal and senseless; it is a sharp divergence between civilian and military society, between home front and battlefront. During the first weeks of war, civilian youths are transformed into soldiers. They form cohesive male fighting groups, bands of brothers.
This story vividly depicts inner state of the characters during wartime and their living essentials such as fear, kindness, love, and uncertainty. These things are so important for them as ammunition during wartime, because they help the main heroes to overcome depression and difficulties they face with.
A major theme of the book is set up in the title story, and O’Brien continues to explore this theme of physical and emotional weight as burden throughout the collection. As he shows in the book, from before