The Vietnam War In The Things They Carried By Tim O´Brien

1030 words - 5 pages

The Vietnam War. A war that many Americans believed unfair and unnecessary. “Why am I being sent off to fight in a war I don’t know anything about? Will I ever return again?” Many draftees asked themselves these questions hoping to find comfort in the answers. But there was little to no hope, and they knew it. They were being drafted and they could do absolutely nothing about it, only hope that at the end they would be returning to the enlightened faces of their loved ones, something that not many Vietnam soldiers expected to ever see again. The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, portrays his experience in the war along with his fellow squad members, in their fight for survival against the ...view middle of the document...

Through O’Brien’s stories of the war, the dead live on. Though not literally, they are brought back to life in memories.
The first story O’Brien decides to tell us is the story of Lieutenant Jimmy Cross. Cross represents a young and inexperienced soldier who went to war for all of the wrong reasons. He deals with the savagery of the Vietnam War through letters and pictures sent from the woman he loves back home, Martha. Cross carries physical objects, pictures, letters, as well as memories from his time spent back home with Martha before signing up for war. At one point in the story after describing a date between him and Martha, he mentions how “he should’ve carried her up the stairs to her room and tied her to the bed and touched that left knee all night long.” (5) His thoughts of Martha are enough to help distract him from the brutal realities taking place in the war. However, his distraction becomes too much, and it ends up resulting in the death of one of his fellow squad members, Ted Lavender. He carries regret for the death of Lavender, and years later confesses his guilt to O’Brien, and that he has never forgiven himself for his death. Despite his long-lived regret, Cross finds comfort in his thoughts of Martha, and hopes one day she will return his love.
From Tim O’Brien’s point of view, Mitchell Sanders was one of the most likable soldiers in the squad. Not only was he a good soldier, but he was a good friend as well. Along with O’Brien, Mitchell Sanders carries his fair share of stories. However, his stories are more commonly used to entertain the other soldiers, while O’Brien tells most of his stories based on his experiences during the war. The most famous of Mitchell Sanders’ stories remembered by Tim O’Brien is one where he...

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