Reflection Of The Things They Carried

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While reading The Things They Carried, I had a lot of comments to make about the style of writing, the stories O’Brien chose to recreate, and his meaning behind the writing. I have never read a book similar to The Things They Carried, and I doubt I ever will. O’Brien is unique in the way he combined nonfiction with fiction and differentiated between the two. He told the reader a lie, and then called his own bluff. This is something I admire in a writer; the ability to be both completely honest and to make up stories to keep the reader entertained. This talent, along with many others presented by O’Brien, kept my eyes glued to this novel. As I began The Things They Carried, the first thing I noticed was O’Brien’s use of short and long sentences. …show more content…
At this time in history, not many people believed in the Vietnam War. Critics called it ‘morally unjust’ and said that we had no business fighting in another country’s civil war. People felt that going to Vietnam was a waste of time and resources, and yet soldiers were still drafted and forced to fight. These men agreed to go to war because of their pride. They did not want to fight for their country, nor did they believe in the cause. However, in their minds, the fear of shame was a better motivator than the cause itself. In the chapter, “On the Rainy River”, O’Brien admits that he had come very close to running away from the war. He did not believe in it, and the idea scared him. It wasn’t fair for him to have to fight in a war that he didn’t think his country should be in. He came dreadfully close to fleeing, but his need for social acceptance stopped him. He was more afraid of what his parents and friends would think of him than he was of the war. It’s hard for me to imagine being that worried about other people’s expectations. I pride myself on not caring about what people think of me, so it seems ridiculous for someone else’s opinion to dictate whether or not O’Brien and the other soldiers go to war. I wonder how I would have handled that situation. Would the fear of becoming an outcast force me into fighting? Or would I run away to avoid the problem completely? Soldiers are faced with decisions that I could never imagine having to make. I admire them for choosing to fight for their country, even if it is out of fear of being

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