The Ideal Soldier In The Things They Carried By Tim O Brien

1342 Words 6 Pages
In a Utopian Society everyone is equal, thus everyone is at peace with one another. Sadly, that’s not a concept most people today can wrap their heads around. Constantly being at war has become a societal norm, causing everyone to acknowledge and talk about it. The news, movies, and literature have become frequently used outlets to keep up to date with war. Tim O’Brien’s award-winning novel They Things They Carried is a war story set in the Vietnam War. The novel is composed of several short stories. The short stories, each with metaphorical and literal titles, follow the soldiers along through their time spent overseas. Most of the characters were members of an Army Platoon stationed in Vietnam. The war in Vietnam was an extremely unpopular …show more content…
Soldiers are usually male and have a candid resemblance to G.I. Joe. Ideal soldiers are usually exhibited with extremely masculine characteristics. They are typically clean shaved, have a muscular physique, they obey orders, and demonstrate integrity. In Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried novel, Azar is the ideal soldier. He is always bragging about how tough he is and saying insensitive things. Just as the war has killed his innocence, he kills Ted Lavenders puppy by strapping a mine to it and blowing it up. After killing the dog, Azar is dumbfounded by why everyone is so mad in fact, he replies to them by saying “I mean, Christ, I’m just a boy” (Obrien 15), truly demonstrating his adolescences. When O’Brien lowers his standards and seeks revenge on Bobby Jorgenson by pranking him, he runs to Azar for help. Azar has the strength to continue the prank though Jorgensen possibly getting hurt by the prank, while O’Brien’s morals return and he tries to call it off, so Azar kicks him in the head for being weak. After Kiowa’s death is the only time Azar shows human attributes. When looking at Kiowa’s body he holds his stomach and looks pale as if he was getting sick. Azar sits down next to Norman Bowker on the dike and says “Listen,” he said. “Those dumb jokes—I didn’t mean anything… But I felt sort of guilty almost, like if I’d kept my mouth shut none of it would’ve ever happened. Like it was my …show more content…
The United Sates currently has troops in Afghanistan fighting the War on Terror. Reading about the deaths of soldiers in O’Brien’s novel makes you wonder whether winning a war is really worth losing family members or friends. War is often idolized through video games and action movies making the saying “kill or be killed” a reality. War itself is very complicated. First, society has established the stereotypical soldier and anyone who does not meet that those standards are viewed as less than, like FT. Lt. Jimmy Cross. Second, soldiers believe in fighting to save both lives foreign and domestic, making it hard for civilians to understand their constant need to be along with their comrades. The soldiers don’t understand the constant worry of civilians. Civilians are concerned about whether their loved one is okay and not in harms away, praying that they come back “safe and sound”. It’s sad to say that it is naive for both soldiers and civilians to ever truly understand each other. Transitioning from soldier to civilian is hard because once set in certain ways they are very hard to change. If the soldiers return home “safe and sound” physically, but that does not mean that they that way mentally or emotionally. The understanding of war is very complex and very few people ever achieve that. Being conscious of war is one step forward in analyzing its

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