The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien

Tim puts himself at the centre of action as he gives the story with himself being one of the combat veterans. For any soldier who is going to a battle field, when you talk about ‘The things they carried’ what comes in ones mind are fighting weapons. In our case, that was not the case as the book is all about the things O’Brien and his fellow soldiers carried that would take their minds away from the war. Things that would give them hope and encouragement. With them were baggage of emotions of men who were going to die, terror, grief, love, shameful memories and secrets of cowardice which they didn’t want to show. From this we can clearly say that though the soldiers went to the war, they clearly were against the war and didn’t want to participate in it. The things the soldiers carried The title of the book is an irony by itself as the talk of war brings weapons in everyone’s mind. In this book, the soldiers carried distracters from the war, things to encourage them that the war was worth fighting, to give them hope that they will see the sun rise the next morning, things to make them forget the bad and haunting memories of the war. This clearly tells us that the soldiers attitude towards the war. they hated it and could do nothing to stop it but they had no alternative so they just had to stay in it. They carried the intangibles which still had with them their own masses. they had tangible weight as they to some way worsened the situation at war by the memories they brought. The one main thing that they carried was cowardice deep within them. they couldn’t show it because that would be embarrassing to those who looked upon them like their lovers, the country and their family members. The things the soldiers carried along with them include love letters, malaria tablets and illustrated Bibles contrary to what any one could have expected. Those who made it home safely had with them torturing memories and images of a nightmarish war. Rarely at any part of the book are we told of situations and events that the soldiers loved and enjoyed at the time they were at war or good memories after they war was over. This is to say at no point did the soldiers come to like the war and they didn’t appreciate any part of the war. Some parts of the book are fiction of the soldier’s experiences like how Tim killed a soldier and he was so shocked and traumatized but that was his work of art so as to create a true picture of what the situation was in the battle field. The soldiers killed the enemies but ended up regretting and feeling remorseful. The book is about the things O’Brien learned in this war and the secrets and truth that are always kept from the eyes of the common man. Most memories bring out the blurred line separating the truth, facts, reality and fiction. We can conclude by saying that everything they carried was precious to them or else they could have left them behind as the war requirements were already heavy for them. What they carried was mostly decided by their fears, their homesickness and the desperate need to be distracted from the war. We can see Rat carrying comic books while jimmy pictures of Martha. Some carried good luck charms to save them from the unworthy dangers of the war. Situations which show that the soldiers didn’t want to take part in the war or hated the war The last thing that a soldier has to have in a battle field is fear, that shows that he is either not prepared or he is