Fear In Tim O Brien's The Things They Carried

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Register to read the introduction… It can make them put on a front, act overconfident. Opposing to these reactions, fear can also make people run away or hide. In the mid to late 1900’s during the Vietnam War, soldiers were faced with this same fear. The men did not want to appear weak to each other, their community, their family, or to anyone. In Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried he reveals stories of the Alpha Company, a United States unit of foot soldiers, that he was in during the Vietnam War. Some men went to war to avoid embarrassment and some men avoided embarrassment while at war. Tim and the other members of the Company are afraid of displaying weakness and all act in different ways to conceal their fear. The apprehension to show weakness causes Tim O’Brien to go to war so he is not embarrassed, the men of the Alpha Company to act superior or masculine when they are together, and overall harms the men because they mock the dead. The fear of revealing weakness shapes how the characters in The Things They Carried act.
The fear of appearing weak controls people’s actions. One way Tim O’Brien expresses the fear of exhibiting weakness is through himself when he decides to go to war because he dreads ridicule. He is afraid of what the people in his town will say about him if he runs away to Canada to avoid the draft. Tim is not the only one who feels this way, he thinks,
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The men are afraid to be viewed as feeble. Tim is afraid of what people will say about him if he does not go to war, the men of the Alpha Company act manly around each other, and the soldiers mock the dead all because they are afraid of revealing weakness. The men of Alpha Company embody this idea of apprehension to display weakness. Fear influences how everyone acts, not just the Alpha Company, and not just soldiers. Everyone is affected by their fear, no matter how hard they try to suppress

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