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How Does O’brien Use The Things They Carried To Cope With The Psychological Impact Of His Experience In The War?

874 words - 4 pages

The Vietnam War was one of the biggest and the most impactful war that affected the society, especially in the US. Draftees often came back with mental and physical illnesses such as post traumatic stress disorder. Many came back with a missing limb because of the fights that they had to go through as a soldier. These soldiers also got trauma from the war because of the deaths and the dangers that they faced during the war. These psychological effects impacted the way many veterans lived and many of those ex-soldiers went to drugs abuses just to be able to cope with their situation during the war. Tim O’Brien, the author of The Things They Carried, had special way of coping with the ...view middle of the document...

The mentions of these negative emotional disorders that the squad, especially the Lieutenant, shows the psychological impacts of the war. Just like how the Lieutenant was going through mental breakdowns, O’Brien had to cope with thoughts that messed up himself mentally. He mentions them figuratively in the novel by the collections of stories that he wrote. Through writing these stories, he allows the readers to understand the hardship of this war which was one way he coped with the psychological influences that he received through the war.
The motifs in the story also exposes the ways O’Brien coped with the psychological impacts of his experience in the war. Loneliness and Isolation is one of the biggest motif that exists in the story. Even in the wilderness with six people patrolling, people become lonely and isolated. “And every night they keep hearing that crazyass gook concerts” (O’Brien 70). Mitchell Sanders claimed that he heard these concerts in the middle of the wilderness. They were trained to hear and strange noises to keep the soldiers safe. But with the isolation from the society, they start to imagine society being with them. This is another aspect that O’Brien is trying to tell the readers to cope with his situations. He is informing readers that the impacts in the Vietnam war is so great that imagination could take over and get one into a psychological disorder real quick. By notifying the readers about...

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