The Vietnam War In Tim O Brien's The Things They Carried

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The Vietnam War was a very important time in American history, with so many tales coming from the field of battle. Thousands upon thousands of stories have been told over the years by the soldiers who were there, and all of them seem to follow a similar theme. The stories explain what had happened during the war, from the successful missions to the tragedies that affected an entire platoon for the rest of deployment. But the mark these tragedies leave don’t last for just the rest of the war, and what lies beneath these awe-inspiring stories is the horrible post-war trauma felt by the storytellers who still live with it today and will feel the sadness for the rest of their lives. As a result, 20% of these veterans have committed suicide. In Tim O’Brien’s book, The Things They Carried, the trauma of war produces the personal legacies of grief, therapeutic writing, and insanity.…show more content…
It was a very traumatizing position to be in because as a leader, he was partially responsible for everything that happened in his group. So when one of his men, Ted Lavender was shot and killed, he fell into a depression and blamed himself for fantasizing about his childhood sweetheart Martha because “He loved Martha more than his men, and as a consequence, Lavender was now dead, and this was something he would carry like a stone in his stomach for the rest of the war” (5). As a result, Jimmy burns all of Martha’s letters he received out of anger. And unfortunately, he would have to carry that stone in his stomach after the war too. In the chapter Love, where he visited Tim 20 years after the war’s end, he said “he still hadn’t forgiven himself for Lavender’s death” (26), meaning he probably will live with this guilt for the rest of his life

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