Later, Cross believes that his fixation on this romantic fantasy has led to the death of one of his men in the Platoon, Ted Lavender. Engulfed in guilt, he destroys all the letters and gifts Martha gives him.
Although Cross's guilt is deeply emotional, the story arouses sympathy and empathy mainly through means, such as describing as a matter of fact the physical, psychological, and emotional weights the soldieries carry. Each of them carries objects with sentimental value to offer them a little comfort during the war. In a large-scaled violent and traumatic event like the Vietnam War, it is very likely for people to overlook the lives of individuals who are buried in the great number of casualties.
The narrative recounts most events and emotions with a plain tone and with no adornments or glorifications of war. He describes the soldiers as automatons who no longer have volitions and will. They simply march along, carrying all the weight on their shoulders. Such a description vividly depicts how war dehumanizes those who are involved. Thus, O'Brien chooses to juxtapose the horror of war with the human side of the soldiers, such as the playful bickering among them, and their emotional attachment to certain objects.
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Tim O'Brien's title story "The Things They Carried" juxtaposes the personal and the political together with the romantic and the violent. With Lieutenant Jimmy Cross as the protagonist, the story cuts between his romantic fantasy with Martha and the threats and hardship the platoon is experiencing.
The story follows the title by offering an inventory list of the objects the soldiers carry, including ammunitions, survival tools, and emotional burdens.
O'Brien's story is intriguing as it presents not only the brutality of the war, but it also depicts how war dehumanizes the soldiers.
In the book The Things They Carried author Tim O'Brien paints a picture of a group of soldiers in the Vietnam war that are struggling to maintain their dignity through the items that they carry. These personal belongings remind them of imagined loved ones, unreal security, or in the case of Tim Lavender a sentence to death from the tranquilizers that he was addicted to.
“The Things They Carried’ is based on the theme of psychological pressure caused by war time and military actions. This theme is depicted through material and emotional things the soldiers carry. O’Brien serviced two years in the infantry (1969-1970) and participated in one of the cruelest military operations near village My Lai Massacre (1968).
Through the work, he was attempting to develop a new form for his writing which he had never invented before. This research paper intends to find out the innovative strategy of the writer in presenting the various self-governing chapters or stories in an organized and unified entity.
In this book he has used the theme of 'metafiction', which is an act of writing about writing (for example - memories of writer). It tells the readers that the stories, which are in the fictional form, can sometimes be more realistic. These stories are partly fictional and partly based on his real life experiences.
The photo of his girlfriend is the only thing which helps him to overcome depression and emotional burden. Thus, Tim O'Brien points out that Ted's romantic relationships with the girlfriend are over, still Lieutenant Cross hopes for love and sympathy.
Lieutenant Cross expresses his love and romantic feelings to Martha, thus he knows that she has other boyfriends and will not wait him for too long.
They flee what they cannot control or justify. The author himself, Norman Bowker and Jimmy Cross locate the cause of their angst elsewhere, blame others for their dilemmas, and legitimately - if not always rationally - see the source of their turmoil in an inchoate 'other.' They are compelled to respond in such a manner because they are confronted by what seems to them, and is, an overwhelming apprehension of injustice.
The title of the book is in reference to the items carried by the soldier for survival in the new territory, which lies for them. These items hold a lot of value for them, as they are a symbolic representation of memories back home. This book provides an insight into the emotions of those brave soldiers who try their best to hide it from their mates, as they don't want them to look foolish.
This paper will discuss the way of life in the Vietnam War, as described by Tim O’Brien, altered, warped, mutated, changed or reaffirmed the commonly-held/historically based on the definition of the concept of ‘friendship’. There are three types of friendship namely (1) utilitarian; (2) pleasure; and (3) character.
5 pages (1250 words)Book Report/Review
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