Essay on The Things They Carried By Tim O ' Brien

1050 Words Sep 28th, 2016 5 Pages
Tim O’Brien, author of "The Things They Carried," voices the idea that the mental burdens outweigh the physical agony that those in war must carry: They carried all the emotional baggage of men who might die. O’Brien argues that fear, longing, and uncertainty that the soldiers experience far outweigh the physical torture that they must endure in order to stay alive, burdens that are lightened only a little by the hope of returning home. The mental burden that probably weighs the most on the hearts of the men is fear. This fear comes from many sources. These men were constantly haunted by the fear that they may die. Ted Lavender’s death and how they reacted to it showed its impact on the soldiers. Kiowa expresses the sense of weight that the threat of death has on the men when he describes Lavender’s death: "Boom down, he said. Like cement" (250). Lavender’s death is described as being like stone, something massive and heavy. The death of Lavender is repeated several times throughout the story by O’Brien. The repetition is used in order to show the fear in the men. This scene constantly goes through their head as they fearfully await their fate. This lurking of fate, in their minds, serves as emotional baggage that the men must sustain. The soldiers also carry "the soldier’s greatest fear, which is the fear of blushing". The men’s concern for their reputation is one of the heaviest burdens they have to carry. The soldiers feared being called cowards, and simply dreaded the…

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