Books and Movies Reviews

The Things They Carried

In the novel, The Things They Carried, by Tim O'Brien, he tells stories of his past in Vietnam during the war and the readers get a real close view on what life is like at war and the emotions that were going through his mind. The emotions running through the soldier's heads are from pain, guilt, embarrassment, fear, courage, frustration, and bravery. The emotions all come from a series of events, the stress caused by the demands they are expected to fulfill and it gives us the chance to understand and feel what the veterans felt during the war.
Vietnam has a history that is full of pain and misery. From the war that happened decades ago, and how it still today affects the people who were there living the nightmare. O'Brien focuses on the pain a soldier would endure many times throughout The Things They Carried, because it is such an important role in his stories. The pain that is caused by killing a man, being sent away to fight with no say, losing friends in battle, all of these and more contribute to ones pain in Vietnam. O'Brien talks about a young man he had killed at the central coastline of Quang Ngai, and he describes the dead man he is looking at with every possible detail he can pick up. He takes the kill so personally because he had done it himself. O'Brien thinks of what the mans life was life before this and what he wanted in the future and this story he creates makes the kill more personal, thus making the pain seep into O'Brien. His friend who was with him gave him a reality check when he told him "Tim, It's a war. The guy wasn't Heidi-He had a weapon, right? It's a tough thing, for sure." (126) The guilt the soldiers have after making a kill, for some it was more intense and personal than it was for others, the guilt would eat away at their soul and consciences. O'Brien looked at the situation that he had murdered a man, and it took his friend, Kiowa, to hel…

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