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Commentary on The Things They Carried Essay


They Things They Carried

The Things They Carried by Tim OBrien is a novel about what he and his friends experienced during the Vietnam War. Love, terror and grief are revealed throughout the stories.

At the very beginning of the novel, Tim OBrien describes Lieutenant Jimmy Cross and a group of young soldiers and what they carried to a war in which they were not prepare for. These included not only weapons but also things to console their emotions. For Example: Photographs, letters, reputation and poise. When Ted Lavender died, Jimmy Cross blamed himself for loving Martha so much and ignored other people. Love is deeply shown here. It is ironic that love towards Martha is the cause of Ted Lavenders death. Jimmy Crosss could not stop himself from thinking about Martha even when he was fighting in a war. Eventually, Ted Levender got shot in the head and Cross hated himself and he loved Martha more than his men. From this story, Tim OBrien led us to interpret more about what and how exactly the war was like.

In one of the stories, Tim OBrien tells us how he tried to get away from the war. A month after he graduated from college, he was drafted to fight a war that he hated. With his conflicting emotions and ideas in his head, he decided to go to Canada to flee from the war. However, he eventually overcame this huge terror and went to the war. Many years after the war, he still writes stories about it because he wants people to get more information out of them. For Example, in one of the stories Field Trip Tim OBrien describes how he took his ten-years-old daughter (Kathleen) to the place where his friend Kiowa had died. To Tim, Vietnam had been a place fill of memories. However, as to a little girl like Kathleen, she had a vague image about his fathers history and therefore complainted about the place. As readers, we have a clear idea of how literally they felt about this one particular place.

In another one of the stories, Tim OBrien explains how his brutal war memories had stayed with him for this whole time. He took a mans life away in which he didnt want that to happen. Even after twenty years, this mans image still flows in his mind constantly. Consequently, he writes this story to confront his own guilt over killing this one man.

In conclusion, They Things They Carried gives us not only the scenes of what occurred during the war but also some personal stories about particular events. Several main themes are being displayed.

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