Pity is a reoccuring theme throughout The Things They Carried. Shame makes people do things they don’t wish to do so they can eliminate the fear of shame. It drove soldiers to do acts they would’ve never ever done. Many of the characters have pity as a primary incentive. It leads them to war and it keeps them there. It is the one thing that keeps them from shooting themselves in the foot so that they would be released from the army or some comparable such act.
But some characters, like Curt Lemon, believe that embarassment urges them to heroism, not stupidity. The sensations of shame and guilt take in the soldiers, and make them do irrational and crazy things. Pity motivated guys to go to Vietnam. An aspect that contributes to their embarassment is being shamed in front of their peers. Likewise returning from war completely great and undamaged was a contributing aspect because it lead some soldiers to shoot themselves in the leg or something so they a minimum of had something to show they fought hard in fight. They felt that there were individuals passing away around them and getting hurt, and that if they returned home with nothing done to them they would be looked at as a coward. Individuals would believe that they didn’t fight their hardest to secure their nation and rather escaped or stayed hidden.The social acceptance among all the males in Vietnam was an aspect to their pity. They didn’t wish to seem like a coward in front of the guys they were they were battling along with either. The soldiers fear and hate weak point, so in order to keep their relationships undamaged, they require to protect their reputations. In O’Brien’s story in “On the Rainy River” it informs how he didn’t wish to battle in a war he believed to be unjustified, however the worry of being considered a coward led him to go anyway. He had the possibility to get away to Canada and what stopped him wasn’t patriotism, it was his issue for what his friends and family would consider him if he didn’t go to Vietnam to fight. O’Brien has likewise said that embarassment brought him into the war. It was out of love that he didn’t run away to Canada. Due to the fact that of his love for his parents and family, O’Brien did not want to embarassment them by not going to the draft. If he didn’t go to war he would’ve had to handle being towered above by everybody around him. He would’ve needed to live with his choice to not fight.
“On the Rainy River” is an expedition of the function of shame in war. The story establishes the theme of shame as an encouraging factor. O’Brien pretended to eagerly anticipate doing his patriotic responsibility in front of his father and uncles, but during the night he hoped with his mother that the war might end quickly. He was afraid of disgracing himself and his family and village. In “In the Field,” it’s exposed that O’Brien is shaken by a comparable shame and guilt over Kiowa, thinking that he’s the one that was actually accountable for Kiowa’s death. Curt Lemon passed out during a dental expert go to in the chapter “The Dental expert”. He didn’t want to get teased by the other guys for hesitating. To prove to the males in his Company, and likewise to himself, that he’s male enough and brave enough to see the dental professional he goes to the dentist’s tent in the middle of the night, declares to have a really bad toothache, and needs that he take out some of his completely excellent teeth. Jimmy Cross only fought since his friends did. He ends up being a confused and uncertain leader who threatens the lives of his soldiers. He wants to be taken a look at as a leader rather of making himself appear like a coward and is willing to do so even if he is putting other individuals lives at threat. He disregarded to step up and lead his men in many scenarios when they required him the most. The reason for his neglect came from his fixation with a girl back house. Later on, he realizes that he has been a fool. He focused a lot on Martha that he has overlooked to be a leader to his group. As soon as Lavender passes away, Cross recognizes that he must focus his attention on his soldiers. He repents of himself that he has wasted a lot time considering Martha. Norman Bowker can’t shake the embarassment of not winning The Silver Star of Valor due to the fact that he thinks that he would have won it if he had actually not failed to conserve Kiowa in “Mentioning Nerve.” Shame takes control of Bowker so much that he ultimately hangs himself. The story “The Things They Brought” itself discusses how males feel pity on many levels. Some feel embarassment for the important things they do, such as burning a town after Ted Lavender is shot or how they react to enemy fire by being up to the ground crying and hiding or how Lt. Jimmy Cross feels over his fixation with Martha and how it result in Lavender’s death. The products of enjoyed ones are used as a guard. Rather of the soldiers admitting they hesitate, which would be disgraceful, they hold on to objects for strength.