The Things They Carried By Tim O ' Brien Essay

975 Words May 3rd, 2015 4 Pages
The Things They Carried: A Look inside These Men In the short story “The Things They Carried,” by author Tim O’Brien, our attention is directed toward a squad of soldiers during the Vietnam War. The narrator brings us a monologue of himself, Lieutenant Jimmy Cross and his men about the different kinds of ‘things’ that are carried. I agree with critic Rena Korb says, in O’Brien’s way of setting the psychological setting within the men. O’Brien uses symbolism that is filled with mixed feelings of war and materialism to show the psychological weight that these men carry. While at the same time he gives us characterization that is usually told through dialog through the same symbolism. O’Brian creates his short story seemingly revolving around the gear that is carried by the soldiers, but it is shown that the emotional attachments that are created by them builds much to the whole story. Rena Korb, the author who wrote a critique on this short story points out the underlining theme of the setting by describing O’Brien’s use of the different purposes that the gear gives to each character. She explains that O’Brien’s characters are being face with opposing forces of “physical reality and their emotional reality.” (The Weight) I agree with this because she gives us examples explaining why; even though they know they cannot leave the war they still hope and “[strip] themselves of the physical gear of the war [to] achieve a feeling of freedom.” (Korb) She even makes the point clear…

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