The Things They Carried By Tim O ' Brien Essay

838 Words Oct 17th, 2016 4 Pages
Carried Through the War An estimated one million American soldiers died in the Vietnam War. The war was brutal, and even though I have not experienced war directly, I can imagine a persistent death awaiting each and every individual on the battlefield. It is his short story “The Things They Carried”, by author and writer Tim O’ Brien, that I believe truly illustrates the hardships and death of the Vietnam War and how they affected soldiers physically, spiritually, and mentally.
To begin with, war was as physically strenuous as it is today. Soldiers might have had an idea of what the terrain and weather might be like, but no one could predict the future. Preparation was needed to ensure that every situation was handled at its best. O’ Brien says, “The things they carried were largely determined by necessity…Together, these items weighed between fifteen and twenty pounds, depending upon a man’s habits or rate of metabolism” (1132). When I think of the weight responsibilities that each of the men had it brings me back to my exercise routines and how I deal with twenty-five pound dumbbells. Being able to feel some of the weight firsthand gives me a closer connection to each of the characters and their unique roles that make them important for the balance of the group. He also says, “They carried each other, the wounded or weak. They carried infections… They carried the land itself—Vietnam, the place, the soil—a powdery orange-red dust that covered their boots and fatigues…

Related Documents