Fear In Tim O Brien's The Things They Carried

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Although the Vietnam War and the Iraq War were fought 30+ years apart, and thus have technical differences, the mindset and characteristics of soldiers from both wars is nearly identical. Themes such as fear and courage are prevalent throughout The Things They Carried, and are observable factors in real stories from Iraq. One of the main themes in The Things They Carried is fear, and it is repeated in every single chapter. For the soldiers in the book, this fear has many forms and most of the time it consumes their lives and thoughts. It drives some to madness, gives others PTSD, and even causes soldiers to commit suicide. A very similar of fear can also be heard very clearly in the stories from Iraq. Most of the time in both Iraq and TTC, this terrible fear is caused simply by the overwhelming risk of death that comes with fighting in a war. A good example of this similarity is the story of Tim O’Brien getting shot and the story of “Rebel Coyote” getting his foot almost blown off. In both situations, the pain of the injury and the fear of further pain or worse completely fills the soldiers’ minds. They can barely think about anything else (including any hope of being courageous), and even after the fights are over, they can’t help…show more content…
In Vietnam, the tactic of guerrilla warfare was extremely common, which to the soldiers meant that they always had to be on their toes, constantly on the lookout for hidden VC soldiers or landmines. Even when they were set up in a camp, the fear of an unseen threat could never be ignored. Alternatively, the soldiers in Iraq did not necessarily have to deal with the 24/7 fear of the unseen. The bunkers and base camps became a lot safer in the modern day, and thus it was possible for the soldiers in Iraq to relax, something the Vietnam soldiers never could do

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