The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien

Civil War General Sherman once stated, “War is hell.” He was right. In the narrative “The important things They Carried,” Tim O’Brien shows us the hell that our soldiers suffered.

The narrator reveals us a captivating, and up-close story about our soldiers in the Vietnam War. While the title connects to the story about things carried, however the soldiers carry more than just the physical burdens-in numerous cases, they are weighed down by emotional baggage. The psychological baggage that lies heavy in their hearts outweighs the physical weight. In addition to the items that they must carry, they likewise bring personal mementos.

To demonstrate how much the soldiers are carrying the narrator informs us “things brought were mainly identified by necessity.” A few of the requirements consisted of, “P-38 can opener, pocket knives … candy, cigarettes … C rations and 2 or 3 canteen of water. Together, these items weighed between fifteen and twenty pounds …” The narrator goes on to offer us a lot more information about the things the soldiers carried; “… carried the basic M-16 gas-operated assault rifle. The weapon weighed 7. 5 pounds unloaded, 8. 2 pounds with its full twenty-round publication … grenade launcher, 5. pounds unloaded …” By telling us precisely what the men brought and just how much it weighed, it gives us an insight on the physical concerns that the males needed to bring. The narrator tells us that the intangible products that these males carried proven much heavier than any backpack and weapon. The main character in the story is Lieutenant Cross, squadron leader. He is in love with a girl in the United States.

She is constantly on his mind and since he allows his ideas to take him away and be with her. Since of this, he blames himself for the death of another army member despite the fact that there was absolutely nothing he could have done to safeguard him. Lieutenant Cross felt the pain. He blamed himself.” “He imagined Martha’s smooth young face, thinking he loved her more than anything, more than his guys, and now Ted Lavender was dead due to the fact that he love her so much and might not stop thinking about her.” I think here he is being a little unreasonable. His love for her didn’t kill Lavender. He didn’t feel just the burden of being accountable for Lavender’s death, “it was the burden of being alive.” They all brought excellent psychological weight. “They carried all the psychological baggage of the guys who might die.

Grief, fear, love, longing-these were the intangibles, however the intangibles had their own mass and specific gravity, they had concrete weight.” With all the physical and emotional things they carried, they also carried things that were close to their hearts. They brought keepsakes and other small weapons. “Mitchell Sanders brought brass knuckles. Kiowa brought his grandpas feathered hatchet … Kiowa always brought his New Testament … Lee Strunk carried his slingshot; ammo, he claimed, would never be an issue.” We’re informed that Lieutenant Cross carried letters from Martha in his rucksack, and pictures of her in his wallet and a pebble. … Lieutenant Cross got a good-luck charm from Martha. It was an easy pebble, an ounce at the majority of. “

These things, although that was something else they brought, I feel like that, these products are things that made them seem like there was a world outside the war. They brought a quiet wonder of the power of the weapons, which kept them alive by eliminating the enemy. They brought infection, the weak or wounded, the thumbs of killed Viet Cong, regret, and the soil of Vietnam itself. Maybe the only certainty of a rather uncertain war was that there would never ever be a scarcity of things to bring.