The Things They Carried By Tim O ' Brien Essay

1142 Words Jun 8th, 2015 5 Pages
The Burdens of the Battlefield
“They carried all the emotional baggage of men who might die. Grief, terror, love, longing- these were intangibles, but the intangibles had their own mass and specific gravity, they had tangible weight” (O’Brein, 20). The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien is a collection of stories from the Vietnam war. The stories in the novel range from harsh and violent to deep and emotionally resonating. Throughout this wide range of stories, however, there are similarities and themes that connect them and make them relatable to people from all backgrounds. One example of these themes is the idea of physical and emotional burdens and the toll these have on the soldiers both during and after the war. Therefore, In The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien’s use of painfully honest metaphors, imagery, and anaphora reveals his overarching theme of physical and emotional burdens. First, O’Brien’s effective use of metaphors clearly conveys his theme of physical and emotional burdens. For example, one of the soldiers, Henry Dobbins, keeps his girlfriend 's pantyhose tied around his neck while on duty because, “they kept him safe. They gave access to a spiritual world, where things were soft and intimate, a place where he might someday take his girlfriend to live” (O’Brien 112). The metaphor of the pantyhose relates to the theme of emotional burdens because it is representative of Dobbin 's feelings of loneliness and desperate but meaningful attempts at comforting…

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