The effects of the Vietnam War left men with terrible everlasting images and countless troubles, according to Tim O'Brien's novel that portrays a war that was meaningless and strung out. O'Brien's book, "The Things They Carried" describes the everyday issues that war soldiers experienced and also explains the underlying problems they were facing during the time. The narrator, also named Tim, talks about the meaningless activities and games that the men played to keep structure to their lives, and to keep their minds off of the existing conflict. The characters also use pungent images of the ways in which a war like this can leave a person post-conflict, and at the same time the book gives examples of the effects that the war actually left on men. In the given situation, depression was inevitable, especially during the struggles and tribulations that men were opposed to performing. Soldiers struggled to keep their lives as "normal" as they possibly could during the war that most weren't sure they believed in. One thing that O'Brien elaborates on throughout the book is the trust that is gained in not only your fellow soldiers and comrades, but also with the people that you were fighting the war against.
[...] Acts that place people in situations where they are forced to do something that will hurt not only themselves, but also another person, most definitely leave an everlasting impression on the individual's life. Rat Kiley continually uses not only himself as a character that is corrupted by war, but a character that eventually shoots himself in the foot due to the stress of the war and the insanity that it has placed him in. O'Brien's use of complex and interesting characters, along with their actions, lead the reader to feel a sense that the person is crazier and more uneasy as each day passes. [...]
[...] What follows, however, is a series of vignettes that are anything but "sweet." When a Vietnamese boy with a plastic leg approaches an American soldier with a chocolate bar, the soldier reflects, "One leg, for Chrissake. Some poor fucker ran out of amino" (Blyn 31). While on the other hand, however, the trust from man to man varied in the insecurities that they developed from the war. A child with chocolate would not and should not spook a man who has been killing grown men for months on end but historically the Vietnam War was filled with surprises and “spooks”. [...]
[...] "These aren't just general symptoms of anxiety; they are specific to the traumatic experiences members of each couple have had," she said.” Relationships at war with a girl or even a family member has been proven to be effected negatively because of the anxiety as well as the haunting images. The Things They Carried shows aspects of this loss through the love in the woman that is continuously brought up. O'Brien's story is completely devoted to the love of a woman and the effects that the war placed on their relationship. The novel implies that they were together at one time and that the war had made what was once a love a complete loss. [...]
[...] The Things They Carried portrays O'Brian's thoughts of the morals that men carried in Vietnam, furthermore, the ways in which the solders morals were continuously hurt by the unjust war pushes men's underlying beliefs of war to be that of Dean's negative outlook. O'Brien also elaborates this through the men of the platoon, while giving glowing examples of how people's lives will be effected after a demanding war. O'Brien's examples of bringing the dead back to life leaves the reader to feel as if he has some type of guilt about his decisions on war. [...]
[...] Images of the previous time he encountered Vietnam the first time Things They Carried”) were reoccurring and haunting, which turned him to his second book, with elaborates on the depression and thoughts of death that occurred during the first time in Vietnam. The things that the men really carried may be an example of the eternal images that the men of the platoon will carry but also the haunting factor that may play a role in a theme O'Brien may be striving for all along. [...]
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