Analysis Essay of “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien
The fictional story “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien presents before the readers the mental and physical status of soldiers who attended Vietnam War. The war which happened between America and Vietnam has given much suffocation and torture to American soldiers. The story reveals the mental trauma and agony of American soldiers and this was fictionally represented by the author as he was a part of American war and definitely understood the essence of war conditions. The American soldiers in a foreign land with adverse situation had to depend upon various objects and amenities to survive. The story narrates about the character of soldiers and the objects they carried in order to stabilize their mind and soul.
The author did not hesitates to describe the war situations but made a successful attempt to unleash the emotional and physical uncertainty of American war men. The story has lot of resemblances to the hidden pain and agony of American soldiers which is put by author in a fictional manner in front of readers. The story focuses on Colonel Cross who loves obsessively a girl back home and projects the love he fondles for her in the midst of war. The author being a veteran understands the hidden feelings and frustrations of war soldiers and the situation displayed by Cross might have experienced by many men in Vietnam war. Even though, the story is fictional it shows the world the real experience and emotional trauma undergone by soldiers in war torn condition.
The characters in the story like cross forgets his duty as a war soldier and fantasizes about his love which is not fictional really but a hard fact many might have faced in war conditions. Even though, the author has expressed openly the characters of the story in an unrealistic manner it directly symbolizes the things a soldier might want to express in their innermost heart. The author Tim O’Brien has created a fictional character of himself in the novel to unravel to the reader about his war memories and agonies. He talks about the pain he had undergone as a soldier while killing a Vietnamese warrior and also simultaneously challenges the readers by explicitly describing the life and survival problems of a soldier. The story also throws light upon various personalities and the negative influence of war on them.
The story has great affliction to reality as men of Vietnam War were under a frustrated and torturous condition and they did many atrocities to themselves to remain in stability.Vietnamese war was a situation of conflict and confusion and this had a disastrous effect on the soldiers fighting the war. The disorder and chaos involved in the war can be seen in the behavior and attitude of all the characters in the novel. Some were on drugs, some tortured themselves, and some performed unusual things to escape from their frustration and struggle. But still from a cultural point, the soldiers overcame their difficulties to perform their duty and displayed courage and patriotism in making their country proud and dignified. The novel exemplifies well, the mental struggle and physical instability faced by every soldier in a foreign land of war and Tim O’ Brien amazed the readers being an author and a fictional character.