This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Relationships In Tim O'brien's Things They Carried

1799 words - 7 pages

Relationships in The Things They Carried

The Things They Carried is a collection of stories about the Vietnam War, but in reality, the book centers around the relationships the men make, their connections to the world they left behind and the connections that they formed to Vietnam. The stories are not war stories, but stories about love, respect and the bonds made between men when they spend day after day fighting just to stay alive.

One of the clearest points in The Things They Carried is that of the importance of certain objects or feelings used by the soldiers of Alpha Company to survive the war. Jimmy Cross, the leader the group, carries a picture of a Martha, a girl who writes him from the states. Jimmy knows that there is no real relationship between the two, but he uses the picture the help keep him connected to the world he was forced to leave behind. He creates stories in his head about what will happen when he makes it back home, alive. The Bible carried by Kiowa was given to him by his father. When the book is mentioned, it is referring to the smell of the New Testament: the leather, glue, ink and paper. Kiowa carries the Bible as more of a remembrance then as a show of his faith. The stockings carried by Henry Dobbins came from his girlfriend. He carefully raps them around his neck each time the company moves out. Even after his girlfriend ends the relationship, Henry continues to wear the stockings because in his mind, their symbolism has not changed. All these items are psychological tools used by the soldiers to keep them connected to their homes and loved ones. The items are not important just because of who gave them to the soldiers, rather they are important because they seem like they are the last link to a world that has no place in the war. They represent the goodness and the innocence that is missing during the war. All the items helped the respective soldier to survive from day to day and to continue fighting the war.

The men rely on each other for entertainment to break up the endless days of marching though the Vietnam wilderness. With hours and hours of marching and no action the men need a release or the boredom would drive them crazy. An example of this is "Kiowa teaching a rain dance to Rat Kiley and Dave Jensen, the three of them leaping around barefoot while a bunch of villagers looked on with a mixture of fascination and giggly horror" (O'Brien, 36). They play checkers and tell stories. These men looked to each other for emotional support and reassurance since none was coming from the home front.

One of the most important things that helped the soldiers through the war was their friendship with each other. This bond that the soldiers formed helped them to survive, and helped the men of Alpha Company to cope with the war after they returned to the United States. "The bond that men form with each other in the heat of battle is incomprehensible to those who have...

Find Another Essay On Relationships in Tim O'Brien's Things They Carried

Analysis of Tim O'Brien's "The Things They Carried"

755 words - 4 pages In Tim O'Brien's "The Things They Carried", Lieutenant Cross has no choice but to put down his dreams to carry his new reality. The story introduces the reader to a young man who fills his head with dreams and hope of a better life, with the girl that he loves. Guilt begins to drive the hopeful Lieutenant becoming a better leader. Shifting his personality to harsh and cold allows him to have a firmer grip on the remaining men he leads

Coping with the Reality of Death Depicted in Tim O'Brien's Novel, The Things They Carried

910 words - 4 pages Death is one of life's most challenging obstacles. Tim O'Brien was exposed to more than his fair share of death. To manage the emotional stress, he developed methods of coping with the death in his life. O'Brien's novel, The Things They Carried, demonstrates his attempts to make death less real through psychotherapeutic tactics like telling stories about the dead as if they were living and conceiving the dead as items instead of people

O'Brien's The Things They Carried

1232 words - 5 pages O'Brien's The Things They Carried O’Connor remarks “The Things They Carried” is a short story that is written “as an experience not an abstraction” and that “the meaning has been embodied in it”. These quotations are truly pure in description and interpretation of the short story as the reader, must look beyond the crude physical properties of the objects and actions chronicled and focus more upon their hidden

Fact Verses Fiction in O'Brien's The Things They Carried

1500 words - 6 pages Fact Verses Fiction in O'Brien's The Things They Carried "The difference between fairy tales and war stories is that fairy tales begin with 'Once upon a time,' while war stories begin with 'Shit, I was there!'" (Lomperis 41). How does one tell a good war story? Is it important to be accurate to the events that took place? Does the reader need to trust the narrator? In The Things They Carried, Tim O'Brien examines what it takes to

Jimmy Cross’s Final Decision in O'Brien's, The Things They Carried

946 words - 4 pages In the story, “The Things They Carried”, author Tim O’Brien described specific items that each of his soldiers carried with them to the Vietnam War front. The items that the soldiers carried were for mental protection; they believed that the things they carried would take their minds off all the terror and violence that was going on around them. The protagonist, Lieutenant Jimmy cross, carries out letters from a girl named Martha, which leads

Theme Analysis: "One 16 oz. Analysis- One More Thing to Carry" An essay on Tim O'Brien's "The Things They Carried."

906 words - 4 pages NOTE: Parenthetical Citation is used. Selection came from an anthology, thus making the page numbers irrelevant. Please modify page numbers to coincide with your text.Tim O'Brien's "The Things They Carried" presents the central idea that amongstsociety, it is normal to react to atypical situations in an atypical way. Jimmy Cross, O'Brien's protagonist, was developed to exemplify this atypical reaction. Cross allows the reader to believe and

War Wounds in Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried

677 words - 3 pages War Wounds in Tim O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried” War is serious! In the short story “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien, he recounts his personal experience with war and personal issues, not just any war but the Vietnam War. This was highly disregarded war by most Americans. Lives would be forever changed from their experiences of battles, guilt, wounds, heart brokes, emotions, and even death. The main character of the story is Tim

Truth in The Things They Carried by Tim O´brien

1075 words - 5 pages In Tim O’Brien’s novel, “The Things They Carried,” imaginations can be both beneficial and corrosive. This novel consist of story truth and real truth. Throughout the novel, imagination plays a big role. Tim O’Brien wrote his book about the war mainly based on his memory of the war. He did not remember every details of the war, thus he made up some false details to the stories to make it seems more interesting. He wants the readers to be able to

Feminism in The Things They Carried by Tim O´brien

1618 words - 7 pages Of all the literary lenses, one would not think that feminism would be a prevalent topic in a war novel. In Tim O’Brien’s iconic book, The Things They Carried, the idea that women were just as important as men acts an important theme, however from a different perspective. Movies and epic war stories tell of the heroic actions of the World’s finest: bulky men with an appetite for battle. Yet, there always lied a backbone. Comfort, inspiration

Feeling Death in The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien

1354 words - 5 pages understand that he is also suffering. The story shed light on how much war truly affects soldiers. It showed how a soldier does not always have to be this detached, pokerfaced person that holds all sentiment in and that it is natural for a person to display his feelings, even though it might not be accepted by others right away. Ultimately, the story revealed that the effects of trauma do not always lead to a complete avoidance and blockage of feeling. Instead, trauma can induce an outward exhibition of emotions. Works Cited O’Brien, Tim. The Things They Carried. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009. Print.

"The Things They Carried," by Tim O'Brien

654 words - 3 pages THE THINGS THEY CARRIEDIn his book "The Things They Carried," Tim O'Brien describes a group of soldiers marching through Vietnam. He does this by describing the items that each of them carries with him during the march. The things that the soldiers carry with them are both tangible and intangible items and what these things are depends upon the individual soldier. They carry the basic necessities for survival and the bare minimum to make life as

Similar Essays

Tim O'brien's "The Things They Carried"

783 words - 3 pages Tim O'Brien's "The Things They Carried" (reprinted in Edgar V. Roberts and Henry E. Jacobs, Literature and an Introduction to Reading and Writing, Sixth edition. [Upper Saddle River and Prentice-Hall, 2001] 77-88) is centered on the realism of the types of things the soldiers in the Vietnam War carried. The realism of all the physical and emotional, tangible and intangible things they carried are vividly described throughout the entire story

Coping Mechanisms In Tim O'brien's The Things They Carried

1616 words - 6 pages During the Vietnam war, soldiers were not exposed to the traditional coping mechanisms of our American society, as illustrated in Tim Obrien's The Things They Carried. These men were forced to discover and invent new ways to deal with the pressures of war, using only their resources while in the Vietnamese jungle. It was not possible for any soldier to carry many items or burdens with them, but if something was a necessity, a way was found

Decisions: Tim O'brien's The Things They Carried

1415 words - 6 pages Everyday individuals face decisions in which they must choose whether to do what is appealing to them or to choose a more suitable and compliable choice. In the fictional work of ‘The Things They Carried’ by Tim O’ Brien, certain characters such as Tim O’ Brien himself must face decisions similar to these. The novel demonstrates that when an individual is faced with a decision in which there is a choice that he may have to conform, the

Tim O'brien's The Things They Carried: A Second Re

534 words - 3 pages Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried: A Second Revision In Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried, a distinction is made between "Tim" and "Timmy" when O'Brien speaks of Linda and his truer than true love and understanding for her. She called him "Timmy" while she was alive and dead, except she never did really die-she was present in "Timmy's" dreams. This distinction between "Tim" and "Timmy" is that the older "Tim" now still keeps the