In “The Things They Carried”, O’Brien portrays a fascinating message
of responsibility for his readers. Its morals explains how we tend to typically
let ourselves “out” of our issues and as a result of we might wish to be
somewhere pleasant. The excerpt retrospect’s the war on Vietnam and illustrates
the mentality and lifetime of the foot troopers that fought and died there. By
describing what things the troopers brought with them provides better characterization for every
man in a literal, spiritual, and mental form,
the reader can understand what the men were about.
Each soldier carried with them wants, most of them following normal
process. He mentions the precise weight of the things the troopers carried in an effort to give the reader a feel of the
load of the troopers. In his descriptions he describes physical items as an
example; mosquito insect repellent and
marijuana, pocket knives and chewing gum.
The narrator describes the items they carry counting on many factors
that embrace the men’s priorities and their constitutions. As a result of the
artillery man Henry Dobbins is exceptionally large, as an example, he carries
extra rations; since he is superstitious, he carries his girlfriend’s stockings
around his neck. Nervous Ted Lavender carries marijuana and tranquilizers to
calm him down, and also the spiritual Kiowa carries an illustrated New
Testament, a gift from his father.
Some of the things the men carry are
universal, like a compress just in case of fatal injuries and a two-pound cloak
which can be used as a waterproof, groundsheet, or tent. Most of them are soldiers
of low ranks and carry a standard M-16 assault rifle and other magazines of
ammunition. many men carry bomb launchers. The items they carry also are
determined by their ranks or specialty. As leader, for example, Lieutenant
Jimmy Cross has the responsibility to carry the maps, the compasses, and also
the responsibility for his men’s lives. The medic, Rat Kiley, carries
painkiller, malaria tablets, and provides for serious wounds.
The narrator uses metaphors, symbolic language and repetition
to put across his message. His purpose of the story telling is to clear his
conscience of war and to tell the stories of soldiers who were forgotten by
society and the difficulties they go through and how they try to cope with
narrator is against the war. In The Things They
Carried, as an example, writer describes how “Tim O’Brien” struggles to
determine whether or not he ought to avoid military service. The writer takes us
through either side of the difficulty, feeling the worry of a young man facing
military service and probably death to one feeling a patriotic duty toward his
country. The narrator confronts with the story, the pressure caused by feeling
the necessity to stick to some cultural or community standard of duty, courage,
narrator’s attitude is somewhat totally different from his team mates he puts
himself in a higher state of mind possibly of courage. For example he describes
Ted Lavender as a coward as he is carrying more ammunition than needed which is
not different from the rest as all constantly talks tough to cover their fears.
Kiowa is obsessed with death especially after Ted’s death which according to
the narrator is inevitable while Cross blames
himself for Ted’s death. The narrator’s attitude might not be different from
the rest of the soldiers as he is also a soldier.