The Things They Carried

“The Things They Carried” is one of finest fresh written on Vietnam War by Tim O’Brien. It is non a simple war narrative holding the elements of pride and glorification ; instead it is a sympathetic narrative of American soldiers full with honestness and thoughtful sort.

Tim O ‘ Brian explains in his novel “The Thingss They Carried ‘ about a group of soldiers who marches to Vietnam. During Vietnam, the soldiers were chosen for the war. Many households have to free their immature male childs because they have to go forth their places and train for the war. In this novel, the author portrays the load or weight ; the soldiers carry during the war. He tells about the points which are closely associated with the physical, psychological and emotional weight that each of them carries with him during the March. Soldiers carry the points touchable and intangible in nature depending upon the single soldier. They take the indispensable necessities for endurance. Beside them besides bearing the load of memories, feelings, emotions and just and these are the intangible points. These intangible points are the centre of focal point in this narrative. The load of these intangible points is every bit of import and original as that of touchable points. Like the physical points which they carried for their endurance, these abstract points can non be shed off.

O ‘ Brian often described the points to state how much the touchable and intangible points weight. “The arm weighted 7.5 lbs unloaded, 8.2 lbs with its full 20 unit of ammunition magazines. The rifle adult male carried anyplace from 12 to twenty magazines … adding on another 8.4 lbs at lower limit, 14 lbs at maximum.” This describes to the reader about the load that soldiers are taking in transporting these points. Much consideration is given to the weight and emphasize the soldiers feel from the load they are transporting and every bit good as from external forces such as nature. “They carried the sky. The whole atmosphere… they carried gravity.” Brian describes that the adult male experience the greatest weight of his emotions and memories instead than physical things. “Grieve, panic, love, yearning, these intangibles, but the intangibles have their ain mass and specific gravitation, they have touchable weight.” Tim explains that these intangibles material is the heaviest because it can non be disposed off. Physical weight can be discarded but emotional load can non be avoided. Brian speaks about the cowardliness “In many respects this was the heaviest load of all, for it could ne’er be put down” .

The soldiers are good cognizant of the fact that they can non acquire rid themselves of the fright because of their abstract nature but still they dream about flight and falling higher and higher free of weight. Jimmy Cross, a character of this novel, attempts to acquire rid of his intangible load by disposing off touchable things. He burns all the letters recieved from his lover Martha. He knows that he may acquire rid of these touchable load but the memories, intangible, can non be disposed off. “He realized it was merely a gesture… besides, the missive was in his head.” Memories of Martha were besides attached with a pebble which she gave to Jimmy. The pebble weighs barely an ounce and can easy be thrown off but the memories and emotions attached are much heavier attached to this piece of rock which can non be got rid. By disposing off the touchable points, Cross tries to be a better soldier and Brien leaves wholly this up to Cross whether he accomplish his purpose. We suppose that he will ne’er be wholly free from his emotion and love he carries for Martha. Henry Dobbins, another soldier is a large adult male who loves to eat and carries the excess nutrient during the war. Ted Lavender was a coward adult male so he took tranquillizers until he was shot and killed. Dave Jensen was witting about diseases so he was ever holding soap and tooth coppice. Kiowa, being a spiritual Baptist, ever carried a Bible. Mitchell Sanders carries rubbers. Norma Bowker took a diary and Rat Kiley has amusing books. Besides this, all of them have helmets, boots and other necessities.

Brien depicts in “The Thingss They Carried” that soldiers carries many things on their shoulders and in their caputs during their March. All of the things they carried are holding a great load but emotions are heaviest of them. Soldiers carry great loads of their memories, desires and fear these intangibles tonss are necessary portion of them, so can non be put down, but they carry and bear. Jimmy Cross realizes, “It was really sad… the things work forces carry inside.”

The weight of feelings and experiences during the war in footings of psychological loads continue even after war was over. The soldiers who survived are transporting the guilt, sorrow, confusion and the narratives are with them. Jimmy thinks about Martha continuously and he was ne’er certain that Martha thinks the same for him. One twenty-four hours when Jimmy was believing about Martha, there was changeable explosion in the jungle when the shooting seized he realized that one of his work forces was shot dead. It was Ted Lavender. From that twenty-four hours, Jimmy did non forgive himself for Ted ‘s decease. He thinks that his captivation for Martha unfocused his nucleus purpose and it led to the decease of his comrade. So that dark Jimmy burnt all the memories of Martha with him. He knew that he is merely disposing off the touchable points ; memories are still in his caput. After the war, Jimmy is bearing the great burden of Lavender ‘s decease for this he blames himself feels guilty.

Tim is 43 old ages old now and has become a author but still he can non bury the scenes of his friend ‘s decease like Kiowa and Curt Lemon, during the war. Tim killed a adult male one dark when he and another soldier were stationed in the jungle coppice to watch guard. He still feels embarrassment for this act and even he can non talk truth in forepart of her girl. Her girl who is nine asked Tim that whether he has of all time killed anyone. She knows the significance of war and besides knows that her male parent was involved in it. Tim was hesitating to state truth to her girl so he denied. But Tim thought that easy manner to state her girl is through authorship, so he devoted full three chapters for the account of that atrocious experience. Tim thinks that narratives connect the yesteryear with the hereafter. These aid you to understand who are you and where you are traveling.

Norman Bowker another soldier who is among the subsisters of the Vietnam War thinks about when the squad camped in a land near a small town which turned to be the small town bathroom. It started raining which made the air smell really bad because of fecal matters. When the squad realized their error, shootings were fired, the soldiers were under onslaught. The full squad dove under the sewerage for screen. During the fire, Norman heard the shriek for aid of his comrade Kiowa who was droping into the sewerage. Norman tried to assist him by drawing him out. But the sludge became excessively much to bear. He was unable to draw him out. He let him travel physically but the memories ne’er able him to allow travel. In his head, there is ever the fright that he allow travel Kiowa when he was still alive. He feels confusion and heartache and these are so strong that he walked around in his place town after war aimlessly. The war separated Norman from all those and everything he wants to be near to. He knew that no organic structure in the town will understand his feelings and experiences, so he did non speak to anyone. His emotions were eternal and cyclical but he could non acquire rid of them. He spent a batch of clip with these atrocious memories but eventually he hanged himself in the cabinet room of a YMCA in his hometown. After the decease of Norman, Tim received a missive from Norman in which he explained how he could non accomplish a meaningful usage of his life after the war.

In the terminal, the physical things which soldiers were carried during the Vietnam War were irrelevant to the rough experiences of war. Those who survived are transporting psychological loads entirely. They wish to go forth behind that period in their lives. Unfortunately, none of them is able to bury the memories burden even after the war which has the greater weight. All those people Tim lost during the Vietnam combat have given him a new thought and apprehension of decease. He has been composing about them since 20 old ages, now he has easy and steadily realized that they are non truly dead, although they are alive in his memory, imaginativenesss and emotions. He has gone through the stage of losing his friends, so understands the hurting, and the guilt of killing his enemy. But he besides knows that his narratives keep all of them alive.