Essay on The Things They Carried By Tim O ' Brien

1342 Words Nov 1st, 2015 6 Pages
Despite the widespread controversy and questionable motivations of the Vietnam War, a study conducted shows that 74% of Vietnam veterans would serve again, even knowing the outcome (Roush). This statistic makes sense, because according to the same report 2/3 of the soldiers were volunteers, not conscripted soldiers. Tim O’Brien’s novel, The Things They Carried, although a fictional book, very accurately depicts the hardships faced on a normal basis by soldiers serving in Vietnam. The author rarely talks about himself during the war in the book. He instead focuses on describing the other men in his platoon, characterizing them by the unique objects they physically carry with them and the emotional burdens they hold onto both during and after the war. The chapters focus on short anecdotes, based in part on real events, that O’Brien either experienced or heard about, then he fictionalized them to include in the book. Some of the chapters describe scenes such as, brutal combat, adversities suffered due to the inhospitable nature of Vietnam, humorous downtime, and life after the war back home. In Tim O’Brien’s novel The Things They Carried, the author explores how the exact same events could have profoundly different effects on a soldier’s experience of the war, in order to illustrate how the soldiers coped with their fears, uncertainty, and grief. Ted Lavender, one of the first men to die in the book, is ironically the most fearful of death out of any one in the platoon. He…

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