The Important Things They Brought
Throughout the book The Things They Brought by Tim O’brien and the documentary “Dear America: Letters Home to Vietnam” the main feelings of worry and trepidation were popular. As a reader, or viewer, I was able to take the sensations of the soldiers throughout the Vietnam War and equate it in a manner to relate it to my own life. Throughout Tim O’Brien’s The important things They Brought and the documentary “Dear America: Letters Home to Vietnam”, I experienced many different feelings that were induced by the situations presented.
From the very start of the novel where O’Brien noted off the important things they brought, I worried. What began as an easy list of tangible items they actually brought, morphed into emotional or psychological baggage that weighed each of the men down in different ways. “They carried all the emotional luggage of men who might pass away. Sorrow, terror, love, longing-these were intangibles, however the intangibles had their own mass and specific gravity, they had tangible weight” (O’Brien 21).
All of us carry things with us that no one else can see. This is relatable not just to those who have fought in war, however also to the daily person. The Greek Theorist Plato when stated “… everyone you fulfill is battling a harder battle”. Whether this is a literal fight or an internal conflict invisible to the human eye, we all have something to carry. From the chapter “The important things They Brought” I was able to construe that there are some things that others can help us bring, like our knapsack or a gun.
On the other hand, there are likewise things that we must bring ourselves, like the feelings of worry, love, unpredictability, and ostracism. As I saw the progression of these insubstantial problems producing a growing number of weight upon the backs of these soldiers, I started to consider how in my own life there are feelings that can produce a sort or weight, despite the fact that it might not remain in such an extreme situation as the Vietnam War. Yes, there are things that make me afraid, sad, ashamed, and numerous other emotions all throughout the spectrum.
However by learning about how the soldiers dealt with their feelings of worry and isolation, I had the ability to deduce that pretending to not feel can weigh you down more than actually feeling it. All of the guys in The Things They Carried reduced their worry so the other men would not understand they hesitated. This had destructive results on all of their mindsets. Although these are fictional characters and scenarios, I understand that the feelings they felt were genuine from seeing “Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam”.
Being able to hear in a soldiers own words how terrified and lonesome the situations in Vietnam were puts war in an entire new perspective for me. Personally, I feel as though I’m desensitized to violence. In truth, I’m a bit amazed by it, mostly due to the fact that I have actually never experienced real violence right in front of my face. The only contact I have with violence is through a TELEVISION or computer screen. So seeing this documentary filled with real males, genuine screams, and real gunfire was an eye opening experience.
Tim O’Brien’s writing, although it does create a mental image, can not rather capture the essence of war that seeing it happen has to provide. Dear America verifies my belief that the fear these men felt during the Vietnam War was not just genuine, but was greater than I could ever have the ability to fathom. Throughout both Tim O’Brien’s The important things They Carried and the documentary “Dear America: Letters House to Vietnam” the feeling of fear is popular and palpable for the audience. These two war exposes make the horrors seen throughout the Vietnam War available to the common man, a The Products Which They Had In Their Arms and Backpacks