Tim O Brien's The Things They Carried

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Why do men love war? Like all lust, for as long as it lasts it prevails everything else. War redeems life from flat degeneration, allowing soldiers to exercise intangibles such as courage, self-discipline and self-sacrifice. “War is hell,” author Tim O’Brien in The Things They Carried states, “but that’s not the half of it, because war is also mystery and terror and adventure and courage and discovery and holiness and pity and despair and longing and love. War is nasty; war is fun. War is thrilling, war is drudgery. War makes you a man; war makes you dead” (O’Brien 80). To love war is to mock the very values we supposedly fight for, so why do soldiers find themselves aching in reminiscence? Why does contradiction define war? Why is this contradiction so appealing? I used my grandfather and Tim O’Brien as conduits in order to connect with war. While I may not be a veteran, I am a means for psychological analysis of the desensitization of society and the soldiers who fight to protect it. American culture receives violence in the media unflinchingly, if not with open arms. Perhaps we are so attracted to war because the depictions of violence perceived as…show more content…
You could blame the war. You could blame the idiots who made the war. You could blame whole nations. You could blame God. Or you could blame an old man in Omaha who forgot to vote (O’Brien 177). A matter of death was happenstance; causes were immediate and consequences lasted forever. Soldiers cannot afford to dwell on the deaths of their fellow soldiers and in order to compensate for the great pain death brings them, they find themselves finding joy in death. Overtime inertia overrode the kill, that’s when war made the transition from dreadful to enjoyable. When the inertia empowered you to kill and all you took from the instance was the great intensity and power. War is the closest thing to what childbirth is for women: initiation to the power between life and
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