Books and Movies Reviews

The Things They Carried

What is it that really helps troops survive war?It is said that faith in humanity and religion are known to fizzle amongst times of wars; therefore almost every man will tell you it was the hope of coming back to loved ones and family.Ask any man that has been to war what it was like, what was going on inside his head, what he felt when he smelled death, what he felt when he caused death.The answer, inevitably, will be one that could never be put to words, an answer that you or I could never fathom.In The Things They Carried, Tim O'Brien illustrates the mindset of the soldier through what he brought with him to the war-zone, and more importantly, what helped him get out of that war-zone.What he carried with him night and day, what he kissed every night before bed, what he must carry to survive, what he held with him while he was in hell, this is what helped him survive.There are very few experiences as devastating to the human spirit as war, and though these things can never capture the human spirit, The Things They Carried certainly gives us insight as to what helped soldiers keep hope and survive war.
One of the ways that troops in the Vietnam War often escaped the reality they were in or simply kept motivation to make it back home alive was to carry pictures or letters with them of lovers close to their heart.In The Things They Carried, First Lt. Jimmy Cross carried with him letters from the girl that he was in love with, Martha.He looked at the letters every night before he went to bed, even went as far as to lick the envelope, because he knew that at one point she did the same.These letters gave him hope and inspiration.These letters were the last things that he thought about before going to bed, only to wake up to war the following day.
The soldiers also carried things with them that were necessary for survival, depending on what their particular positions were."As afirst lieutenant and pla…

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