Cinderella Essay

1765 words - 7 pages

Knieriem 1Tiffany KnieriemEnglish 1102Professor: Thomas Carroll24 November 2013The Unseen Weights of War8,744,000 personnel were on active duty during the Vietnam Era (August 1964-March 1973), according to Vietnam War Statistics on The Veterans Hour. It also says, that of the 2.6 million, between 1 and 1.6 million (40-60%) either fought in combat, provided close combat support or was at least fairly regularly exposed to enemy attack. The emotional burdens that the soldiers carried was intensified by their young age and inexperience. Most of the men who fought in Vietnam were in their late teens and early twenties -they were children, students, and boyfriends who had no perspective on how to rationalize killing or come to terms with their friends' untimely deaths. A total of 58,156 men were killed, 11,465 of which were under the age of twenty years old (Veterans Hour). Many gave their lives for our country in this war, and as one can imagine it wasn't easy."A true war story is never moral. It does not instruct, nor encourage virtue, nor suggest models of proper human behavior, nor restrain men from doing the things men have always done," said Author Tim O'Brien. O'Brien is a middle-aged writer and Vietnam War veteran. In his story, "The Things They Carried," he describes a group of soldiers serving in Vietnam in a different light. He does so by describing the items that each of them carried with them during the war. These items are not just "things", however, they all symbolize something much bigger. The things that these soldiers carry with them are both tangible and intangible items and what these things are depends on the individual soldier. Some of the physical items such canteens and grenades, which symbolize the emotions of fear and love, are what they carried. He uses the list of physical objects that members of the Alpha Company carried in the Vietnam War as a window to the emotional burdens that these soldiers carried.The solders carried certain things, some required and some optional according to their choosing. In the first couple paragraphs of this story in our textbook, we find that a lot of the men carried things that were largely determined by necessity. Among these necessary items were pocket knives, heat tabs, wristwatches, dog tags, chewing gum, cigarettes, lighters, sewing kits, and so on. All together, these items weighed between fifteen and twenty pounds, depending on the man's habits (463). Some of these "necessary" things varied from man to man. Henry Dobbins was fond of canned peaches in heavy syrup: however, to Dave Jensen, hygiene was of most importance, because of which he carried a toothbrush, dental floss, and several hotel-sized bars of soap.Not only were these things of necessity to these men, however, I believe there was something about these things that stood as a symbol of home for each of them. Perhaps every time Henry Dobbins opened a can of peaches, he thought of all the family gatherings, with everyone whom he...

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