War And Post Traumatic Stress Disorder In The Things They Carried By Tim Obrien

2096 words - 8 pages

Being in war is definitely one of the most life changing events a person will ever have whether it be for the better or for the worst. Soldiers will witness events that are impossible to forget or see back at home in the states. Some soldiers may have even seen one of their best friends that they’ve known for forever get blown up into pieces right next to them, or they might even get one of their own limbs blown off of their own bodies, becoming handicapped for life. As a result of seeing something so intense like that, most soldiers are usually traumatized. In matter of fact, a great amount of soldiers are traumatized from the very beginning of being in war. It’s without a doubt difficult to deal with this but there are some ways where soldiers are able to cope with being psychologically traumatized as well as physical burdens that they have been carrying. In Tim O’Brien’s entitled The Things They Carried, he describes to us a diverse group of people whom he met throughout the throughout his tour that has their own approach on coping with the harsh environment of the Vietnam War.
There are numerous things that can happen to a person that goes to war such as getting shot, loss of hearing, getting sexually assaulted by other so called “friendly soldiers”, or even getting body parts blown apart from their body. There’s a long list of possible things that can be added to that list, but what all of the things can lead up to is post-traumatic stress disorder, also known as PTSD. Post-traumatic stress disorder is an anxiety sickness that surfaces after experiencing a very dangerous, frightening, and uncontrollable event such as military combat exposure, a violent crime, a life-threatening accident and so forth (Veterans Health Council). If nothing is done to correct this disorder, the patient’s life may be seriously damaged. A few of the things that PTSD can lead to is abuse with drugs, homelessness, suicide, and so on. This disorder is something that should not be taken lightly and should be dealt with immediately because there are numerous ways in which a person can cope with it.
In the first chapter in the book, titled The Things They Carried, Jimmy Cross is one of the many examples throughout the novel in where a soldier has a way to escape from the realities of war. Cross, who is a lieutenant in his company, carries two photographs of a girl named Martha whom he truly loves and wishes nothing else but to be with her in the end. Along with the photographs, he carries letters from Martha herself as well as her good-luck pebble in his mouth. Martha’s letters has a huge impact on Cross’s escape on reality because those letters do not mention war at all but for him to stay safe. All of these items comforts Cross and eventually reminisce about the times when he was back home with Martha away from any war. He relives a moment when he was with Martha at the movies, and then remembers that he touched her knee but Martha did not approve and pushed his...

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