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

The Thing’s They Carried Analysis

994 words - 4 pages

        Tim O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried” is a very character driven story. The author essentially uses the characters to tell the story. Each of the characters are unique in their own way, however they also share certain similarities, which no doubt spring up from the awful situation that they have been put in. All of the soldiers in the short story are very young and have their own unique way of coping with the trauma associated with being at war. The soldiers in "The Things They Carried" use drugs, fantasy and memories as coping mechanisms to escape the everyday horrors of the war while retaining their sanity, but must ultimately give up their fantasies and accept the situation they are in.
        As First Lieutenant, Jimmy Cross is the highest ranking member in the short story, thus the other characters look to him to lead them. However, he is just as messed up as the rest of the soldiers are he just does not show it because the soldiers need someone to look up to. When listing Lt. Cross’s personal effects O’Brien deliberately includes “a responsibility for the lives of his men,” (O’Brien 271) and although responsibility is not tangible it does weigh him down. Jimmy deals with the war by fantasizing about a girl back home as much as he can. Try as he might, he cannot push the thoughts about Martha out of his mind and concentrate on the war. Sometimes the thoughts come unbidden and he find himself “suddenly, without willing it, … thinking about Martha” (274). Whenever a member of his platoons is killed, he blames himself for his distracted state. While marching down the trail he sucks on a pebble that Martha sent him and thinks about the New Jersey shore instead of looking for signs of ambush. He didn't want to be in charge and doesn't feel up to the task. After all “He was just a kid at war” (274). He is representative of the young officers that fought the war in Vietnam, brave boys who did the best they could despite their youth and inexperience. The platoon realizes his leadership is flawed, but most respect him after seeing the toll Ted Lavender’s death takes on him and how much he cares about his fellow soldiers.
        Jimmy Cross is not the only character in this narrative with a girl back home. He is however, the only one obsessed with a girl back home that does not appear to share his feelings. Unlike Cross, Henry Dobbins’s girl back home appears to have reciprocated his feelings toward her. Otherwise the fact that he carries her pantyhose among his personal belongings becomes slightly disturbing. When the troop has an ambush mission “Henry Dobbins carried his girlfriend’s pantyhose wrapped around his neck as a comforter” (273) the pantyhose make him feel safe, so on particularly dangerous missions he wears it almost as armor.
Ted Lavender had perhaps the most effective...

Find Another Essay On The Thing’s They Carried Analysis

Analysis of “The Things They Carried”

687 words - 3 pages In the passage from ?The Things They Carried?, the author uses precise and dramatic language to place the reader at the heart of the narrator?s taxing moral dilemma. This work of metafiction introduces the reader to the young Tim O?Brien, who having just received his draft notice for Vietnam, is very confused about whether he should do the right thing, and run away to Canada, or to do what he is expected by all of society to do, and go to

Analysis of The Things They Carried

1246 words - 5 pages terrifying enemy that he had expected. Instead of feeling like the hero fighting for his country, O’Brien feels like a villain who took the life of an innocent man for no justifiable reason. Ironically, the moral or lesson in The Things They Carried is that there is no morality in war. War is unnatural and illogical because it forces humans into extreme situations that have no obvious solutions.

"The Things They Carried" Chapter Analysis

749 words - 3 pages Curt Lemon and his experience at war. He uses two contrasting characters to emphasize the point of societal shame. O'Brien has us feel what he felt, and does it effectively by making a character that contrasts him to tell a better story. O'Brien is an author that must consistently draw parallels, and use irony and paradoxes to bring the reader down on his level, in order to feel the emotions he wants us to feel by reading his stories.O'brien, Tim. The Things They Carried. New York: Broadway Books, 1998.

Things They Carried Analysis

1184 words - 5 pages The novel The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, is an assortment of stories about the truth of war and what it can teach us. O’Brien uses the shift of perspectives to give us an opportunity to better grasp these experiences not only through his eyes, but through his comrades as well. In The Things They Carried many of the stories share a common theme of shame, truth, and guilt. O’Brien uses these common threads to show the significance of the

The things they carried

563 words - 2 pages Chandy Thorn Thorn 1Cynde DelauderEnglish 11130 September 2014"In many respects, Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried concerns the relationship between fiction and the narrator" (Friedlander 1). The story that O'Brien writes is not a true story, however he can relate to it because he was an active participant in Vietnam. Tim O'Brien wrote much more than a war time story. Tim O'Brien wrote a Story, of pain, hardship, love, and the heavy burdens

The Things They Carried

1581 words - 6 pages Running Header: The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien 1The Things They Carried by Tim O'BrienENG 1300 W5A2Andrea CarrSouth University OnlineThe Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien "The Things They Carried" is one of several short stories written by Tim O'Brien that brilliantly portrays a squad of young American soldiers in the Vietnam War. Each of the short stories builds on the last but in The Things They Carried the author places focus on how

"The Things They Carried"

2145 words - 9 pages Tran PAGE \* MERGEFORMAT 7 Huy TranProfessor SantilloENG1102-25124 April, 2014Themes Analysis in "The Things They Carried" by Tim O'Brien."The Things They Carried", written by Tim O'Brien and first published in 1990, is rated one of the best literary work about the Vietnam War. Stretching across the story are Tim's memories about Vietnam and some real events that he and his platoon mates experienced. Jimmy Cross, Rat Kiley, Ted Lavender, Henry

The Things They Carried

1707 words - 7 pages The Things They Carried, written by Tim O’Brein, is a story told through the eyes of members of a United States Army troop trudging their way through the Vietnamese country side and jungles during the Vietnam War. Each man has a specific job and so they carry specific belongings that they need to fulfill that job as well as a few mementos from home. These men also carry unseen baggage that is all too real to these men, their families and

The Things They Carried

1000 words - 4 pages "The Things They Carried," is a fiction story-telling book about the Vietnam War by Tim O'Brien that describes the physical and emotional burdens the men carry not only during their time in Vietnam but also years after leaving the warfront. The book is a series of stories told with O'Brien as the main narrator. O'Brien tells of the journey he takes alongside his unit, revealing his fight for courage and decision to commit to the serving in the

The Things they Carried

1053 words - 4 pages Untitled The Things They Carried In The Things They Carried O'Brien Challenges such Traditional concepts of war stories such as courage, bravery, heroism and masculinity. Though their painful experiences his characters are burdened by fear shame and guilt... the things they must carry for the rest of their lives. Bold, brave, strong rugged, heroic, laughing in the face of hardship, adversity and even death. These are the

the things they carried

1095 words - 5 pages Wars tends to be the matter of historical record and soldiers are considered as emotionless machines just obeying the orders in the war. Nobody cares about the individual soldier who actually fights in a war. "The Things They Carried" by Tim O'Brien is about a soldier who is trying to communicate with civilians and tell them what he went through before and during the war. At times there is recitation of the uninteresting items

Similar Essays

The Things They Carried Analysis

903 words - 4 pages Analyzing the author Tim O'Brien's "The Things They Carried", can only demonstrate that it is carefully crafted, detailing in account of a Lieutenant and his men, the time period being right in the middle of the Vietnam war. In most war stories the author spends most of his or her time describing actions and events to the reader, trying to really put the reader "right there" in the middle of everything that is happening. However, O'Brien drifts

Analysis Of "The Things They Carried"

651 words - 3 pages Tim O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried” is the first story in a collection about the Alpha Company, led by First Lieutenant Jimmy Cross during the Vietnam War. The platoon is deployed near Than Khe, an area filled with dense jungle and unrelenting rain where the men must carry or “hump” an unspeakable amount of weight both literal and emotional to survive. The narrator, O’Brien, is one of the soldiers, and he distinguishes one soldier

Analysis Of "The Things They Carried"

949 words - 4 pages In The Things They Carried, there are many emotional burdens that each solider has to withstand. These burdens are, for the most part, physically present in everyday life as a soldier, while others, like the love of someone back home, may not be as physically noticeable. The book follows the life of Lt. Jimmy Cross, the leader of a regiment fighting during the Vietnam War. The Vietnam War was perceived as a terrible time of slaughter, guerilla

The Things They Carried Literary Analysis

1041 words - 4 pages In Tim O?Brien?s The Things They Carried, O?Brien uses a series of vignettes to tell about his times during the Vietnam War. Using this style, there was not a continuous plot because every chapter had a new plot. This made the book very hard to read. In this essay, I will use some example chapters such as ?The Dentist? and ?The Ghost Soldiers? to explore key parts of the book such as the changing plot, the lack of characterization, and O?Brien?s