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

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The Vietnam War was a conflict between North Vietnam and South Vietnam; with the United States as allies to the South and Viet Cong allies to the North. This took place between the early 1950s to early 1970s. Soldiers both drafted and volunteered were sent to fight though the jungles of Vietnam. Tim O’Brien’s narrative The Things They Carried shows the experience of Vietnam from a typically soldiers view. In The Things They Carried the factors of emotional and physical burdens come into play throughout the book. Both burdens affect the other through characters, scenes, and symbolism. As the book starts O’Brien by using the things each character was carrying to give an overview of the physical burdens of each soldiers’ supplies weapons, equipment and personal belongings. Each item that was provided gave a sense of the morals and identity…show more content…
For instance, Henry Dobbins carries a machine gun with ammunition but keeps extra rations and keeps pantyhose around his neck, Dave Jensen is a field hygienist carries soap, a toothbrush, dental floss and foot powder and three pairs of socks. Mitchell Sanders carries a radio and condoms. Rat Kiley is a medic so, he keeps plasma, malaria tablets, surgical tape and comic books. Ted Lavender carries 6 to 7 ounces of dope. While these soldiers contain more physical baggage, Jimmy Cross, Kiowa and Ted Lavender were more exposed to the emotional baggage. Ted was full of fear a piece of baggage that is internal. He is introduced in the book as the one “who was scared” in which he used drugs as an escape goat (O’Brien 2). Jimmy’s live for Martha is his deepest and heaviest burden. Her letters, photos, and virginity are the core of his dreams. He so far gone it states that “He had difficulty keeping his attention on the war…he would slip away into daydreams, just pretending, walking barefoot along the Jersey shore, with Martha, carrying nothing” (O’Brien 8). Jimmy gets a slap with reality when Ted Lavender

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