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Analytical Approach of the Things They Carried


Analytical Method of the important things They Brought

Kevin Scott English 120 Prof. Creeley 2/28/13 Time O’Brien: Depictions of Soldiers Tim O’Brien’s novel, The important things They Carried, includes a series of adjoining stories that tell the stories of the soldiers in the Vietnam War. Each story portrays the soldiers in a different method. It can be inferred that O’Brien did this actively to illustrate to the reader the different sides of every soldier. O’Brien describes the soldiers in two main, ironically opposing ways; a respectable brotherhood, and a violently disorderly group.

A significant theme through out the book is the connecting brotherhood that each soldier has with each other. When the guys first showed up in Vietnam, they knew nearly absolutely nothing about each other. However, after going through a series of violent and traumatic experiences they forged a bond comparable to that of a brotherhood. In the narrative “Buddies” from the novel, we see how close of a bond the soldiers truly have. In the story, the characters Dave Jensen and Lee Strunk become extremely close even after remaining in a fight.

Jensen had actually broken Strunk’s nose, but after feeling awful he proceeded to break his own to reveal his remorse. Eventually, the two ended up being inseparable and form a pact that of one them had a debilitating injury, the other would kill him to put him out of his torment. A pact like this one reveal us simply how close the 2 were, since it would have taken an enormous amount of trust to make such a pact. O’Brien likewise depicts soldiers in a lot more animalistic manner. In the narrative “Opponents”, which precedes “Pals”, the exact same 2 characters participate in a fistfight.

The battle breaks out due to the fact that Strunk is believed of stealing a jack knife from Jensen, who over reacts and breaks Strunk’s nose. This scene is considerable because Jensen says that the knife has no real worth to him. The battle broke out merely as a result of stress and frustration from the war. Even something as small as a minor theft was enough to bring the soldiers to a physical confrontation. We can utilize this circumstances as an example of how chaotic these men end up being in the face of war. These specific men are trained killers, so a physical fight like the one in between Strunk and Jensen could quickly have led to death.

Yet, both males revealed total disregard for that fact when they decide to take the issue of the knife to blows. The narrative “How to Tell a Real War Story” offers us a view into the barbaric displeasure of soldiers as well. The story portrays how among the more youthful soldiers, Curt Lemon, passes away drastically from stepping on a land mine. Anther soldier, Rat Kiley, had ended up being very close with Lemon and took his death rather hard. That exact same day, Rat Kiley discovered a child water buffalo. He caught it, brutally tortured it, and ultimately killed it. He shoots the buffalo numerous times with no immediate intents of eliminating it.

He shoots it in the knee, ear, and hindquarters to harm it, and seems to be feeding off its discomfort. Although the torture is terrible, none of the soldiers do or state anything to stop it. O’Brien even goes on to say that none of soldiers feel any empathy towards the bad defenseless animal. The buffalo had actually done nothing to soldiers yet it bore the complete brunt of their revenge. This is a perfect example of the violent disorderly side of soldiers that O’Brien illustrates throughout the story. We can look at this same story, however, as an example of the brotherhood that the soldiers shared.

As we know, Rat Kiley and Curt Lemon were extremely close, so it is reasonable that Kiley would have been shocked. O’Brien says that when Lemon passed away, Rat Kiley had lost his best friend on the planet. Although his actions were harsh and scary, the place they originate from was far more extensive and psychological. It prevails for human beings to act out after the loss of a liked one, it just so took place that the buffalo was the scapegoat for Kiley’s emotions. Yet the fact that Kiley was willing to avenge his buddies death in such a way is also testament to the bond that he had once had with Lemon.

Kiley had such a strong connection that his emotions manifested in this gruesome barbaric manner. And the reality that his associates let this all take place just goes to reveal that had shared a bond with Lemon too. We see another example of the violent animosity of soldiers in the narrative “The Male I Killed”. This particular story describes a scene where the narrator eliminates a guy with a grenade. It initially explains the bod rather gruesomely, and after that consists of the commentary of the soldiers. One specific soldier, Azar, seems to be especially animalistic in his commentary.

He right away praises the storyteller for “trashing the f *****,” and goes on to describe to the body as shredded wheat. Azar seems to show total disregard for human life in the scene. The storyteller, who actually eliminated the man, has a moment of guilt due to the fact that he chooses that this specific male had not done anything wrong. Yet Azar sees him as nothing more than an opponent, and for that reason he should have the brutal, gory, death that he got. In this method, Azar is portrayed as animalistic. He sees war in black and white, with no happy medium. To him, if you are on the other side you are worthy of to die.

It also appears as if Azar is impressed with the total goriness of the death in general. The only remarks he makes throughout this scene are about how gruesome the body wanted being hit by the grenade. And when he leaves, he smiles as if he is happy about the damage. This is yet another representation of the barbaric violence of soldiers. O’Brien gives another depiction of soldiers’ brotherhood in the narrative “Mentioning Guts.” This particular narrative is from after the war is currently over, and depicts the post war life of among the soldiers, Norman Bowker.

We can see a circumstances of a brotherly connection in this scene that resembles the one from “How to Inform a Real War Story.” In the earlier narrative, Rat Kiley becomes emotional from the loss of his good friend Curt Lemon. Likewise, Bowker becomes psychological from the loss of his friend Kiowa. Both guys likewise seem to feel accountable for the deaths of their buddies. However Bowker expresses his emotions much less violently than KIley does. “Mentioning Courage” informs of how Bowker questions his own guts for letting Kiowa pass away in the mud, although it was really no fault of his own.

We can presume nevertheless, that the brotherly bond Bowker had with Kiowa is what causes him to hang on to his guilt numerous years after the war. If Kiowa was simply another person and not a fellow soldier and pal, it is much less likely that Bowker would have carried guilt the way he did. With examples from the text we can presume that O’Brien actively portrayed the soldiers in opposing methods to reveal the tension and aggravations of war. In conclusion, we can plainly see both the bond of the soldiers as well as the violence and displeasure of being at war. Functions Pointed out 1. The Things They Brought, Tim O’Brien, Houghton Mifflin, 1990.

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