Essay Of PTSD In The Things They Carried

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The Vietnam War was a complete failure that caused the many deaths of young adults. Young men ages 18 and older were being drafted to go to the war; they had no option, which increased anxiety, stress. Many didn’t know how to cope with this; they just got out of high school, they didn’t know what to do in a harsh situation such as this. That’s why many veterans had PTSD forty years after the war. Fifty-eight thousand Americans were killed in the Vietnam War, but twice as much died after the war from PTSD, suicidal thoughts, depression, and by other psychological problems. Many after coming back from the war couldn’t adjust to the civilian life, and many state that the war shattered their lives. Many veterans felt forgotten, and unappreciated, …show more content…
Throughout this book there are many examples of characters displaying PTSD and other problems. The stories “Speaking of Courage”, “The Man I killed”, “Stockings”, “How to Tell a True War Story”, and “The Sweetheart of The Song Tra Bong”, from Things They Carried all enclose multiple examples of PTSD. "The war was over and there was no place in particular to go" (137). This quote is a huge example of the isolation the veterans felt when they came back home. When they came back home they didn’t know how to lead their “normal” lives, the Vietnam War was like a second home and the men in their platoon were their family. O’Brian talks about how if the soldiers had not gone to war their lives would have been really different. For example in “Speaking of Courage” Norman Bowker fancies of talking to his ex-girlfriend and hid dead friend, Max. He can’t stop day dreaming and dwelling in the past, he has memories of the beautiful lake where Norman spent a lot of time with his ex-girlfriend, Sally and his high school friends. Furthermore, Norman can’t forgive himself for the death of his friend Kiowa, because he blames himself for not saving him. Many Veterans felt like this after coming back from the war, some didn’t even want to get help for PTSD, because they felt it was disrespectful trying to get help while their friend is …show more content…
He killed a young Vietnamese while he was keeping watch at night, and O’Brian keeps dwelling over the young man’s body and imagining what his life would have been like if he didn’t die. In “How to Tell a True War Story”, Rat Kiley takes his anger out on a baby Buffalo by shooting him multiple times until "nothing moved except the eyes, which were enormous, the pupils shiny black and dumb"(79). This was caused the post traumatic experience of seeing his nineteen-year-old best friend Curt Lemon being blown up into pieces by a grenade. In "How to Tell a True War Story", A six-man patrol spend a week up into the mountains on a basic listening-post operation where they "get themselves deep in the bush, all camouflaged up, and they lie down and wait and that 's all they do, nothing else, they lie there for seven straight days and just listen” (72). “They don 't say boo for a solid week. They don 't have tongues. All ears” (72). This is an example of one of the events that causes the soldiers to lose their sanity because they cannot stand the spookiness of the silence. “Stocking” gives the readers another example of a PTSD related issue. Tim O’Brian sees Henry Dobbins "wrapping his girlfriend 's pantyhose around his neck before heading out on ambush"(117). The pantyhose are a good luck charm for Dobbins, and he’s holding on to anything in the midst of everything. In “The Sweetheart of The Song Tra Bong”, Tim O’Brian

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