The Important Things They Brought Essay
Enrique Camacho-Moreno American Literature Museaus, Steve Essay The Red Badge of Nerve, by Stephen Crane, and The Important Things They Carried, by Tim O’brien, are 2 novels set a century apart, yet they both link to one another. Tim O’Brien’s novel shows his experience in the Vietnam War, while Stephen Crane’s unique demonstrates his experience in the Civil War. These two novels focus on the image one provides himself while entering into the war and image one gets going out of it, whether one makes it out alive or gets consumed by it. In these two books the principle of being a “coward” made a huge factor in the way they state themselves.
Both Henry Fleming from, The Red Badge of Nerve, and Tim O’Brien from The Important Things They Carried, had a different reason for considering themselves a coward. Tim O’Brien was prepared to the Vietnam War, a war which he didn’t think in, nor wished to take part. He left everything behind and was on the brink of fleeing to Canada. He didn’t wish to lose everything behind, his family, his good friends, and his house. Tim wished to be brave, leave whatever and run away so he would not participate in the war, but that wasn’t the case. “I would go to the war– I would kill and perhaps die– due to the fact that I was humiliated not to. It wasn’t fear or morality that Tim had, he just couldn’t leave everything behind and flee. “I was a coward. I went to war.” In Henry’s case, he enlisted to the war. He wanted to be hero in this war, like he had constantly thought of. Quickly he realized that all he was, was a pawn on a chess board. He was a simple soldier. When things got tough in the second fight he remained in, he got away. Henry couldn’t get the image of himself as a coward. All he was a coward, for fleeing. Henry had all this regret inside him, for leaving and lying about a fake fight scare he had got.
When he lastly regrouped with his squad they came across a small battle. Attempting to press back the opponent, soldier after soldier kept firing their rifle consisting of Henry. Henry had got taken in into the fight, reloading then firing. He duplicated this even when the opponent had actually already fled. “He lost sense of whatever however his hate, his desire to smash into pulp the flashing smile of triumph which he could feel upon the faces of his opponents.” Henry was consumed in the moment of battle, shooting eagerly at his enemies. After this little battle, the lieutenant called him a “war devil. While in the other novel, Mary Anne, a 17 years of age girl, was brought into the battle zone. She stuck with her boyfriend Mark Fossie. She would stroll around the woods, fascinated by the nature. Over time she wasn’t even recognizable, with her locket of human tongue. She was no longer that innocent lady that had first came to the war. “She had crossed to the opposite. She was part of the land.” There are different ways for which one might get consumed by war. For Mary Anne, she became one with the land. There are things and sensation that go on though war, that one would just go through or feel in war.
Both Henry and Tim experienced deaths throughout the unique, whether they understood the person or not. War actually alters a person, mentally and physically. One would enter into war with a clear picture of himself and come out of the war with another. These 2 books show how war changes the image you offer yourself, whether you get consumed by war or make it out alive. Both Henry Fleming and Tim O’Brien had to go through barriers, changing the way they see themselves and the method others see them. These books might be set a century apart, but they connect in so many ways.