The Things They Carried – They Discovered Themselves in the Middle of an Intense War

The Things They Brought

“War is hell, however that’s not the half of it, due to the fact that war is likewise secret and terror and experience and nerve and discovery and holiness and pity and despair and yearning and love. War is nasty; war is fun. War is thrilling; war is drudgery. War makes you a man; war makes you dead.” (80) This passage is extremely significant to the reality of the soldiers in the Vietnam War and brings to life the setting of the entire book. The soldiers were primarily teenagers and boys in their early twenties who had not yet had the chance to experience life.

They soon had actually discovered themselves in the middle of an intense war with nothing but uncertainty and worry. They disliked it and they enjoyed the fear and adrenaline that ran through their skin and bones. It was a crucial part of their young lives that altered the method they would see their own world. In this passage it shows how the characters viewed the war as their feelings changed everyday, every hour, and even every minute. A strong message is presented through this passage as it brings forth the real raw emotion of the soldiers and the truth of war; which is a significant style throughout the book.

The words that Tim O’Brien used to describe the war were mind boggling. It made me realize anything can take place at any minute and anything can alter anytime. It’s difficult to picture what the soldiers need to have felt so young in such a scary and unforgiving war. To continuously live in worry of death is unimaginable. The descriptive language of this passage assisted clarify how the soldiers felt and perceived the war; by broadening my mind on how feelings and feelings can change as quickly as clock ticks. This is an extremely effective passage as it provides war in such a way that may not be typical or anticipated. I feel close to myself when I’m out there during the night, I feel close to my own body, I can feel my blood moving, my skin and my fingernails, everything, it resembles I have lots of electricity and I’m glowing in the dark– I’m on fire practically– I’m burning away into absolutely nothing– but it doesn’t matter since I know exactly who I am. You can’t seem like that anywhere else.” (111) This passage describes how Mary Anne and how the other characters felt in the middle of fight. It shows their worry of being seen and eliminated in the midst of the darkness that was the Vietnam jungle.

At every waking minute worry ran insanely wild through every soldier in the bloody, terrifying fight field. There was no end to the treacherous feeling; it remained in every mind permanently, dead or alive. The soldiers find themselves and really learn who they are and what they are capable of, whether it is losing a friend or eliminating the enemy. They are surrounded by life and the ever dismal uncertainty fate of death. Mary Anne’s passage jumped out at me due to the fact that it discussed how every soldier hesitated that their strong magnetism in battle made them feel as though the enemy might see them.

Whereas, there was a strong sense that they needed to feel invisible to conceal themselves to avoid from being discovered. I felt the worry and might feel the adrenaline going through myself as I read this passage. I can not possibly fathom the feeling that everybody is enjoying me at every minute. This passage was very intriguing in the sense that Mary Anne is the only female in the middle of fight however she seems to play the role of the “alpha male” and her strong sense of experience horrifies the soldiers. “The town could not talk, and would not listen. How ‘d you like to find out about the war?” he might have asked, however the place might just blink and shrug. It had no memory, for that reason no guilt. The taxes got paid and the votes got counted and the companies of government did their work quickly and politely it was a brisk, courteous town. It did not know shit about shit, and did not care to know.” (143) In this passage it tells the fact of how the Vietnam War was undoubtedly overlooked. Tim O’Brien is describing his hometown of Worthington, Minnesota and how life continued in an everyday uneventful fashion.

This passage shows how the world still continued and how the Vietnam war did not change anything besides the soldiers who endured and experienced it. The world picked to overlook war and it was only a reality to the soldiers fighting for their own lives. The passage produces the feeling and alienation the soldiers felt during and after the war. While the soldiers were hiding in a bunker in the unfriendly jungle of Vietnam, life continued without a reservation or concern.

It was practically as if it was 2 entirely different worlds that existed together without the recognition of the other which triggered turmoil for the soldiers throughout the novel. This passage made me connect the Vietnam War and the Iraq War with my own life. I continue to live my life day by day without the recognition of the war going on in Iraq at this very minute. The war in Iraq is transmitted daily but it appears only a reality to the soldiers participating. While I continue with my daily activities the soldiers in Iraq are defending their own lives and nation.

It appears as if it is just an alternate world in which I am privileged to see and do not need to live the truth of remaining in the war myself. “By telling stories, you objectify your own experience. You separate it from yourself. You determine certain truths. You comprise others. You begin often with an incident that really occurred, like the night in the shit field, and you bring it forward by developing incidents that did not in truth happen but that nonetheless aid to clarify and discuss.” (158) Soldiers in the war had no intention to see crucial instances’ of death and other graphic scenes the war had actually provided to them.

And lots of did not have the guts to describe to others what they have seen due to the fact that it tore up their withins tremendously. Many soldiers in the Vietnam War would not mention the war for the majority of their lives, and this passage explains everything. Individuals who were not in the war had no idea what occurred or what the soldiers needed to go through to make it through simply one hour. The people did not appreciate the stories or what the war was like. This passage helps describe some of the dispute the soldiers went through throughout their journey in the war and their own lives.

This passage captivated me since it revealed what the soldiers not just went through during the war but likewise what they went through after the war. O’Brien used effective words to show his point about individuals who did not know anything. The soldiers tried frantically to escape their own truth of war by creating and informing stories based upon true occasions in their lives. They oftentimes overemphasized upon occasions to make them more significant or simpler to handle traumatizing occasions. The characters typically informed stories throughout the unique to connect crucial elements of the unique together. Something had actually gone wrong. I ‘d come to this war a quiet, thoughtful sort of individual, a college grad, Phi Beta kappa and summa orgasm laude, all the qualifications, but after seven months in the bush I realized that those high, civilized features had actually somehow been crushed under the weight of the easy day-to-day realities. I ‘d turned mean inside. Even a little cruel sometimes.” (200) The war altered the way lots of soldiers thought of themselves and other individuals. Lots of soldiers would not talk about what they had experience in the war and developed into very mean and excruciating people.

War is the very place that eliminated many of the soldiers’ spirits and undoubtedly took their souls. The fight field is where their spirits remained they no longer where the holders of their souls. Many went unwillingly however knew they needed to go due to the fact that they did not wish to be humiliated of being afraid of the war. This was a consistent problem in the back of every soldiers mind and with the never ever ending stress and anxiety of returning home alive. This passage is significant due to the fact that it explained vividly how the soldiers fought not due to the fact that they wished to but since they had to.

Many went because they were fearful and did not want to be annoyed due to the fact that they did not go. They did not wish to make a fool of themselves or bring embarassment to their households if they went “a wall”. War is not just an enjoyable game you can play and quit when ever you want. It is a video game many soldiers handled every minute of their lives up until they passed away. The after idea of war was not a reality that was easily forgotten. “I might read his mind. I was there with him. Together we understood what horror was: you’re not human anymore.

You’re a shadow. You slip out of your own skin, like molting, shedding your own history and your own future, leaving behind everything you ever were or wanted or thought in. You know you will die. And it’s not a film and you aren’t a hero and all you can do is whimper and wait.” (211) This passage has excellent significance to how the soldiers felt toward one another. They did not have pals but they all knew how everybody felt because they were all simultaneously going through the exact same thing at the same time.

The passage fits terrific in this unique since it gives excellent information and images on how the characters Azar and Bobby Jorgenson felt toward one another. Strong relationships were developed and felt almost as if they were all someone. As the soldiers defended their own lives they were always protecting the lives of their fellow associates and good friends. While the rest of the world had seemed to turn the other the cheek they had each other to lean on. I enjoy the language O’Brien used to show an image in my mind on how the characters link to one another.

When there was nobody to get in touch with; there was always a point in which the soldiers were able to get in touch with each other just merely by understanding they remained in it together. There was constantly a sense of alienation and worry of the unidentified. They no longer were clinging to the imagine what they wished to be in life they were forced to reside in the reality of war. The soldiers no longer managed their fate. As life flashed before their eyes at unforeseen minutes their basic lives no longer appeared as crucial as their lives in war. “They carried the soldier’s greatest fear, which was the fear of blushing.

Male killed, and died, due to the fact that they were embarrassed not to. It was what had actually brought them to the war in the first place nothing positive no dreams of magnificence or honor, just to prevent the blush of dishonor. They died so as not to pass away of shame.” (21) This passage summarize the entire novel in a few sentences and the essence and powerful message of the book is revealed. The soldier’s greatest fear was the worry of shame and most only fought to spare the embarassment. They came across and experienced numerous scary and life altering occasions. Worry and alienation was the primary elements throughout the novel.

As a constant battle to contain the turbulent emotion within themselves they developed stories to assist them deal with the truths of war and to make it through every day. Much of the soldiers created and produced strong connections to each other while the outdoors world avoided them. Even after the war when they had actually returned to their truths it was as if the war had actually never happened or had any affect on the outside world. Once again they were alone in a world in which they were required to produce their own stories to enlighten their lives. Tim O’ Brien really revealed the emotions and sensations of war from the viewpoint of a soldier very first hand.

It brought to life the strong reality of war from a viewpoint I would never ever have had the benefit of experiencing. Many times the vibrant images and descriptive words brought to life the Vietnam War and I frequently found myself holding on to the pages or gasping for breath in anticipation of what would happen next. The Important Things They Carried is a terrific page turner which uses terrific insight into a world where not many have the guts to go alone, but with the convenience of the other soldiers and their stories; one will come out a completely altered individual.

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