The Things They Carried Fear And Death Analysis

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In short stories “The Things They Carried” and “The Lives of the Dead” from The Things They Carried, the author Tim O’Brien indicates that the soldiers carry the burden of death throughout the war. Not only do they feel sorrow for those who have died, but they also fear death itself. Death hangs over the soldier's’ shoulders; you see this in the first chapter when each soldier mentions what they carry, mentally and physically.“They Carried all emotional baggage of men who might die” (20). Most soldiers believe in the unknown, and they let that guide them in the choices they make. O’Brien suggests that “the things they carried were determined to some extent by superstition” (12). Believing in the unknown, which could be death, leads the soldiers …show more content…
Even though that's the main attribute to war, I don’t know how I could cope with the death of any of my own troops or other humans. I agree with O’Brien and how he claims that death hangs over the soldier’s shoulders and that each soldier not only feels sorrow but also fear. I think it’s interesting how in the novel he not only depicts the fear of death but also tries to cover it with other soldiers joking and mocking death. For example the quotation in the paragraph above which asserts that “‘Mellow,’ somebody said... ‘Oh yeah-mellow!’... ‘Hey, no sweat, I’m mellow’” (219). The words these soldiers said are more than just mockery, they are a formality. It’s like a funeral, beyond the sadness. I think that the soldiers who joke about death are actually scared for their lives, more so than the rest of the tribune. Instead of carrying around hopeful baggage, or mourning in a more usual ways, these soldiers choose to turn death humorous. Not only is this seen in the war, but also in real life. When most people get hurt emotionally or physically, they tend to hide their sadness by using jokes to cover it up. This may be conceiving, but most of the time the person doesn’t want to seem hurt and

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