The Things They Carried By Tim O ' Brien Essay

1148 Words Nov 18th, 2015 null Page
The Vietnam War was a violent and brutal conflict that got the lives of thousands of Americans and sent thousands home either wounded physically or wounded emotionally by the cruelty they had to witness. No amount of training could prepare these soldiers for what they had to experience. Published in 1990 by Tim O’Brien The Things They Carried is regarded as a fictional work based on the personal experiences of American soldiers who encounter the horrific trauma both emotionally and psychologically of combat during the Vietnam War. The burdens the men carry with them throughout the 30-year war were unbearable and those who were lucky enough to survive the guilt and grief would stay within them forever.
Tim O’Brien goes into great detail about the weight of the specific military items that the soldiers carry from place to place, but the weight of these items does not even come close to the weight of the emotional baggage that lies deeper in their hearts. O’Brien describes just how much weight these men are willing to tolerate on their backs emphasizing how unbearable their situation truly was. O’Brien writes, “On their feet they carried jungle boots-2.1 pounds. Each man carried a steel-centered nylon-covered flak jacket, which weighted 6.7 pounds. They took turns humping a 28-pound mine detector, and Ted Lavender carried the starlight scope, which weighed 6.3 pounds with its aluminum carrying case” (O’Brien 2-10). These men are nomads; living on the move meaning they have no…

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