The Things They Carried Essay Examples

Essays on The Things They Carried

War in “The Things They Carried” and “All the Light We Cannot See”
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When a war ends its expected that there is a winner and a loser. Regardless of what side a war veteran was on they all can experience the same effects of war: post-traumatic stress disorder, life-lasting injuries, stress, death, and much more. This topic is brought to light in All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr and The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien. Both authors explore the theme that war forces people to make life changing choices…...
Summary of Book “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien
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“The Things They Carried”/Chapter 1: In light of the beginning events of chapter one, it has shown the effect of war on the individual twice. For example, the novel states “Lieutenant Cross felt the pain. He blamed himself...Lieutenant Cross kept to himself...and now Ted Lavender was dead because he loved her so much and could not stop thinking about her.” (O’Brien, pg. 6). This demonstrates how one of the effects of war, such as losing a comrade, can affect someone’s…...
The Things They Carried” Compared to Neisser’s “Five Kinds of Self Knowledge
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Ulric Neisser’s Five Kinds of Self-Knowledge tells about the five distinct selves that all people encounter throughout their lives. The five kinds of self-knowledge, according to Ulric Neisser, are: the ecological self – the physical self that is in relation with a particular environment; the interpersonal self – who you are at a given time in relation to other people; the extended self – the self in relation to its past actions; the private self – the emotions and thoughts…...
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“Story Truth” and “Happening Truth” in “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien
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Tim O'Brien is a very diverse writer, he compared the 'story truth' and the 'happening truth' to illustrate a story to show why most war stories are fictional and the horrors of the experiences caused by the Vietnam War. These ideas were very essential to the story because it brought the readers imagination and sense of reality to the story to determine what the author's purpose was. The author's purpose could be all a lot of things but the most…...
Friendship in “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien
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In Tim O'Brien's novel 'The Things They Carried' there were many friendships that we can refer to as 'Love'. Throughout this novel, many friendships were created between the soldiers which turned out to be the strongest form of love in the book. We also read the valuable insight into the minds of soldiers and enlightens us to the emotional and psychological costs of war. Tim O'Brien, reveals his and many American soldiers' harsh experiences during the Vietnam War. Like other…...
Analysis “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien
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Violent movies can transform a calm person's personality to brutal. Likewise, the war has a similar effect, but a much more powerful impact. In the realistic fiction The Things They Carried, by Tim O'Brien, the author express how war can obliterate people's innocence by telling the story of the transformation of Mary Anne. The story started with Mary's boyfriend Mark, writing a letter to Mary, telling her to come to Vietnam so they can be together. When she just arrived…...
The Portrayal of Vietnam in The Things They Carried and Good Morning Vietnam
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Most veterans of the Vietnam War will remember a land that was radically different from what they knew and were used to, a country that was hot and humid, full of diseases and traps that seemed to advantage the enemy while crippling the soldiers. The territory was unfamiliar and treacherous, as rain led to large mud patches and landslides and the jungle was easy to get lost in. The overwhelming heat and humidity was a perfect climate for disease and…...
Love and War in Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried
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In The Things They Carried, as the title indicates author and Vietnam war veteran Tim O’Brien carefully describes all of the necessities of warfare carried by the men with whom he shared the war. In addition to the weapons and gear necessary for survival they carried within themselves the images and memories of home. O’Brien describes the various articles carried by individuals as well as the heavier items they would take turns carrying. The heaviest were “the things men carried…...
Emotions In The Things They Carried
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In his story “The Things They Carried”, Tim O’Brien, enlightens the reader with the many faces and emotions of men. Although men are normally thought upon as the stronger of the two sexes; physically and emotionally, O’Brien lets us realize that this is not so. Men are weak in even the strongest of situations. And in this case, the situation is war. War is the main theme of the story. Masculinity in the story The ‘soldiers’ mentioned are victims of…...
Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried: Symbolism
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The Things They Brought by Tim O'Brien is a hybrid text of the personal experiences and the extreme imagination of the author. It has to do with the Vietnam War and the effects on the mind, body, and soul not simply of men however as a nation as a whole. O'Brien writing depends on using symbols to aggressively depict what the war resembled and the after effects. O'Brien utilizes importance in the kind of material, structure, and characters to produce…...
Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried: An Examination of What They Carried and Why.
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Introduction     The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien is a hybrid text of the personal experiences and the intense imagination of the author. The title is a direct reference to the the stealthy travel of the Vietnamese soldiers which carried a rifle and rice during the Vietnam War. This contrasts strikingly with the tools, weapons, and personal objects that were carried by American soldiers. The book is actually several smaller stories which covers the beginning of the Vietnam War,…...
Tim O’Brien as a Representative of Modern Literary Canon
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A well-known American writer, laureate of numerous literary awards and recognized master of style Tim O'Brien won his fame for the most part owing to his works devoted to Vietnam war. Three of five his famous books placed Vietnam at center stage (Ringnalda 90). Moreover, his work Going after Cacciato published in 1978 which won the National Book Award is considered by most critics to be one of the best novels about the Vietnam War (Neilson 193). As O'Brien is…...
The Things They Carried: Character Analysis Lt. Jimmy Cross
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An unnamed narrator describes in third person the thoughts and actions of Jimmy Cross, the lieutenant of an Army unit on active combat duty in the Vietnam War. Lt. Cross is preoccupied by thoughts of Martha, a young woman he dated before he joined the Army. He thinks about letters she wrote him; he thinks about whether or not she is a virgin; he thinks about how much he loves her and wants her to love him. Her letters do…...
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in The Things They Carried
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Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, is a psychological disorder that involves extreme cases of anxiety. PTSD comes as a result of an individual’s experience of a highly distressing event wherein there was a threat of grievous physical harm and there was experience of intense psychological stress. An individual is diagnosed with PTSD based on the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM-IV & DSM-IV-TR definitions. Diagnosis of PTSD  is given if an individual shows the following symptoms for a period of more than one…...
Full Metal Jacket vs the Things They Carried
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I’m going to show you a short clip from the movie “Full Metal Jacket” directed by Stanley Kubart, the guy Mr. MacBride’s brother mentioned yesterday in the LMC. In this scene, this group of American soldiers finally found and wounded the sniper that had already killed 3 of their men. One of which is Joker’s, the protagonist’s, best friend, Cowboy. In the scene we just watched, the sniper was wounded, and Baldwin wanted to leave the sniper to rot, but…...
“Story Truth” and “Happening Truth” in the Things They Carried
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Throughout The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien it is difficult to separate what is fictitious, and what is true. During the entire work there are two different “truths”, which are “story truth” and “happening truth”. “Happening truth” is the actual events that happen, and is the foundation or time line on which the story is built on. “Story truth” is the molding or re-shaping of the “happening truth” that allows the story to be believable and enjoyable. It is…...
The Power of Truth
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Novelist Tim O’Brian once said “A lie, sometimes, can be truer than the truth, which is why fiction gets written. ” In his novel The Things They Carried, O’Brian argues that “story-truth is sometimes truer than happening-truth” (171). O’Brian opposes the idea of absolute truth, and believes that all truths are subject to change. He believes that a fictional story can be more true than an actual event. However, a story, no matter what story, cannot be more true than…...
Truth vs reality
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The Truth and Reality The novel that I am currently reading at the moment is The Things They Carried. It is a fictional story with fictional characters. It's very realistic and easy to relate to without any prior war experience. Tim O'Brien is the main character in the book. In the book he talks about his fellow soldiers, friends, and past war days. These stories about the war are very detailed which paints a clear picture of how O'Brien remembers…...
Commentary How to Tell True War Story
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Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried is a work of metafiction that manages to test fiction in its very nature through the chapter, “How to Tell a True War Story.” The blurred line between reality and the imagination is explored by the given account—the reader is alienated and forced to think, does the truth matter in a war story? This chapter alternates in narration between O’Brien as a soldier and as a storyteller, examines the duplicity of whether story truth…...
The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien
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The Red Badge of Courage, by Stephen Crane, and The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien, are two novels set a century apart, yet they both connect to one another. Tim O’Brien’s novel illustrates his experience in the Vietnam War, while Stephen Crane’s novel demonstrates his experience in the Civil War. These two novels focus on the image one gives himself while going into the war and image one gets going out of it, whether one makes it out alive…...
The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
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“The Things They Carried” was written by Tim O’Brien. Tim was born on October 1st, 1946 in Austin, Minnesota. He earned a degree in political science at Macalester College in 1968 then was drafted in to the military. From 1968 to 1970 he served as a foot soldier in the Vietnam War. O’Brien was awarded a purple heart; following discharge he attended Harvard University although he left in 1976 without completing the Ph. D program. Tim stabilized his publishing career…...
Literary Techniques in “The Things They Carried”
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A literary technique is a device employed in literature to add depth to a writer’s work. These techniques can be obvious, such as the technique of rhyme in a poem, or subtle, such as juxtaposition, which can go unnoticed by the reader. In The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien uses many such techniques to provide more depth to his book. Four literary techniques used by Tim O’Brien are symbolism, pathetic fallacy, irony, and juxtaposition. One literary technique prominent in The…...
The Dilemma of Lieutenant Jimmy Cross in Tim O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried”
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In Tim O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried” First Lieutenant Jimmy Cross is a 24 year old young man in love with a girl named Martha, who is thrust into the jungles of Vietnam. Carrying “the responsibility for the lives of his men” but distracted by his fantasies of Martha, tragedy strikes his platoon and Ted Lavender is shot and killed. (p. 97). Lieutenant Cross grieves for Lavender, for Martha, for himself, as he curtails his daydreams “determined to perform his…...
“The Things They Carried”
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In “The Things They Carried,” Lieutenant Jimmy Cross is torn between being a good leader to his soldiers and his love for Martha, thus making him a truly dynamic character. A dynamic character is someone who undergoes an important, internal change because of action in the plot. For example, personality or attitude would be two that play a role in against Lieutenant. Jimmy cross shows us in the story just what a dynamic character is, and I am going to…...
Meta-fiction and narrative layering in “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien”
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Rationale The intention of the following text is to elaborate the use of meta-fiction and narrative layering in Tim OʼBrienʼs The Things They Carried through writing a narrated interview with Tim OʼBrien regarding Part Fourʼs study: Literature and Critical Study. Using quotations/transcriptions of Tim OʼBrienʼs statements within the fictional interview will support the structure of the text accordingly as a narration of an interview. First, I will address Tim OʼBrienʼs brief biography regarding his career, education and works. The narration…...
Newspaper article
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In this essay I talked about literary elements such as symbolism, imagery, and metaphors being used very well in the book “The Things They Carried: by Tim O’Brien. I wrote about Tim O’Brien who is the author of The Things They Carried; O'Brien was born in Austin, Minnesota. When he was twelve, his family, including a younger sister and brother, moved to Worthington, Minnesota. His writing career was launched in 1973 with the release of If I Die in a…...
“On The Rainy River” Analysis
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The short story “On the Rainy River” is an integral chapter in the memoir The Things They Carried written by William Timothy O’Brien. The short story is written through the perspective of O’Brien in present day and as a young man faced with a draft notice for the Vietnam War. In “On the Rainy River,” O’Brien portrays the importance of bravery of individuals in the society through the use of symbolism, powerful tone, reflective point of view, narrative devices, and…...
“The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brian
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“One can never truly know oneself because each new experience adds to an individual’s identity, no matter how grand or minute the experience.” Identity is the physical and mental properties of and individual including their culture or traditions. Everyone has their own identity which allows us to be different. It is the value and norms that describes ones-self. In the story, “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brian, identity plays a big role in each characters life. As readers, we…...
A compare and contrast Analysis of “The Metamorphosis” and “The Things They Carried”
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Society’s alienation and misunderstanding of humanity can transform once life, both Gregor Samsa and Norman Bowker suffered from isolation. Freedom is truly conquered when one is at full peace spiritually; one can be imprisoned in its own thoughts, desires and memories. To follow I will provide examples form both narrative texts were both characters are imprisoned in their own thoughts, desires and memories. In the process of discovering true freedom Gregor is pressured by society and his family to support…...
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Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried: An Examination of What They Carried and Why.
...The aesthetic value of O'Brien unorthodox approach is unmistakable but in focusing on the style he ignores the fundamental reasons why the war occurred in the first place. As well as America's role in the destruction of nation and it's people. The Vi...
Commentary How to Tell True War Story
...The ultimate example of this is the heroic story of a man throwing himself onto a grenade to save his comrades. Whether or not anyone survives, “Absolute occurrence is irrelevant. A thing may happen and by a total lie; another thing may not happen ...
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