Things That They Carried Boko Review

1804 words - 7 pages

O'Brien, Tim. The Things They Carried. New York: Broadway Books, 1998.The author of The Things That They Carried, Tim O'Brien expresses his experiences and feelings about the Vietnam War through a collection of stories. Each of these stories or narratives encompasses vivid descriptions about one of the soldiers of the Alpha Company in Vietnam. One of the main concepts in this book is the importance of certain objects or feelings carried and used by the soldiers to come out of the war alive. Several of these things are intangible, such as fear and guilt; while on the other hand, others were specific physical objects, including matches, morphine, and M&M's candy. Tim O'Brian releases his fear, sadness, and anger felt due to the war, and illustrates to us the power ordinary objects may have on one, solely through sentimental value.Tim O'Brien was born on October 1, 1946 in Worthington, Minnesota. Right after graduating in 1968 from McAlester College with a degree in Political Science, O'Brien was drafted into the United States army. He spends his college years trying to avoid the Vietnam War. He was known for attending peace protests and peace vigils on a daily basis. After being drafted, O'Brian was horrified and confused. O'Brien went to Vietnam and served there in the Fifth Battalion, Forty-Sixth Infantry-the U.S. Army's Americal Division from January 1969 to March 1970, patrolling the deadly Batangan Peninsula and the disastrous villages of My Lai after the massacre there in March 1968. While serving at the South Vietnamese village of My Lai, he was wounded and returned home with Purple Heart, a Bronze Star for Valor, and a Combat Infantry Badge. After his return, O'Brien entered a Ph.D. program in Government at Harvard University. During the time he spent at Harvard, O' Brien spent two summers working as a reporter for the Washington Post. In 1975, O'Brien published his first novel, Northern Lights. Since then, he has published quite a few fictional novels based on the Vietnam War.At the core, The Things They Carried is about a soldier who is trying to converse with non-soldiers. He's trying to tell us, the reader what he went through, and what war ultimately did to him. On another level, O'Brien is telling us that the image of war as seen through films, videos, video games, and humorless war novels is a false one. Tim O'Brien's trying to show you what war is really like, beyond the glamour of Hollywood or the thrill of a video game. Some of the stories are going to make you laugh, and some are going to make you want to vomit. But if the United States is going to send our citizens to war, we should know exactly what it is we're sending them to. That is the intent of the author, to show the reader exactly what soldiers went through during the "Television War."The Things They Carried is a story of everything the soldiers carried as they paraded through the hot lands of Vietnam. The things they carried are in some cases, physical. For example,...

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