Assignment for The Things They Carried
Death associates with immense blame. Individuals blame diverse factors upon the demise of a loved one. This is an evident trend in “Speaking of courage,” “Notes,” as well as “In the field.” “Speaking of courage” reflects Kiowa and Bowker as main characters. They are reflected as close friends in the narration (O’Brien, 131). The narration covers the time setting of the duration after the Vietnam War. Kiowa had died during the war at the camping cite. His demise has detrimental psychological effects on Bowker. In this case, Bowker’s life is filled with intense blame. He blames himself due to his failure to save Kiowa.
“Notes” still manifest a trend of blame upon Kiowa’s demise. This publication was produced to shed a light in the progress of Bowker’s life. In “Notes,” Bowker remains a paramount character, and he serves as a protagonist. According to this narration, Bowker hangs himself due to the enduring guilt attributing to Kiowa’s demise (O’Brien, 150). Bowker was a confident and capable person. He affirmed of his strong capabilities by referring to his victory in attaining the seven medals. According to Bowker, the same capabilities would have made him rescue his close friend from the death. Therefore, Bowker blames himself persistently, and this makes him to commit suicide. He hangs himself in the YMCA lockers (O’Brien, 151). This was a manifestation of an enduring blame after Kiowa’s demise.
“In the Field” was a narration that featured events during the war at Vietnam. It covers the events prior and subsequent to Kiowa’s death. “In the Field” features the events that occurred at the camping cite. Jimmy Cross is a paramount character in this narration. Kiowa’s demise instills blame into Jimmy Cross. Jimmy Cross blames the upper authorities for commanding the troop to camp in the unsafe cite (O’Brien, 156). He also blames himself for letting his men camp at the river bank. Evidently, death entails the blame of diverse factors. Every associate to the deceased seeks to establish the attribution of the demise. They seek a definite answer towards the untimely and shocking event. Therefore, the search for these answers brings enduring blame on board.
Blaming is does not necessarily entail the establishment of accurate answers. There is a huge probability of blaming the wrong things or people. In O’Brien’s publications, Bowker is an outstanding example of inaccurate blame. He blames himself for not rescuing Kiowa from the untimely demise (O’Brien, 131). Bowker does not consider the fact that he invested much effort in rescuing Kiowa. He does not understand that he invested utmost effort into the situation. In this case, blaming himself is an inaccurate cognition. Inaccurate blame is also evident in contemporary times. For instance, college students persistently blame professors upon academic failure. They do not consider their laxity and deprived efforts in academic engagements.
Jimmy Cross manifests consistent blame in upon Kiowa’s death. He blames himself for the untimely death of Kiowa (O’Brien, 156). In this case, he thinks that he should not have let his men camp at the river bank. After Kiowa’s demise, Jimmy Cross regarded the river bank as an unsafe camping cite. He felt that a deeper responsibility of leading his men to safer grounds would prevent Kiowa’s demise. Jimmy Cross also blames his superiors for the command to camp at the unsafe river bank (O’Brien, 156). However, his thoughts of blame are inaccurate. This is because there was no prediction of fatal danger at the camping cite. Every soldier felt safe and capable to negotiate through the war. Therefore, it is inaccurate for him to blame himself and the superiors of the troop.
Kiowa was responsible for his demise. He broke the light rule, which was the foremost directive that would rescue his situation (O’Brien, 134). Significant responsibility lied upon him than on other troop men. Norman reveals a sense of irony upon asserting that the death was nobody’s and everybody’s fault. In this statement, Norman spread responsibility of the accident to the entire troop. He did not advocate for individual blame, since it would disintegrate the troop. Norman shifted the blame from individual perspectives to a generality of the entire troop.
Tim and Norman have similar perspectives towards Kiowa’s demise. They both blame themselves for the death of their colleague in Vietnam. Tim and Norman felt responsible towards their nation their colleagues at war. The sense of responsibility inculcates the enduring guilt and blame within themselves. However, Tim and Norman did not have the capacity to rescue their colleague Kiowa. Therefore, the blame should not be channeled towards them. Jimmy’s thought is entirely flawed. According to him, blame ought to be existent in every negative occurrence in life (O’Brien, 157). Definitely, this philosophy qualifies life to be a blame arena. People ought to overcome blame through taking full responsibility of life. Utmost responsibility frees people from blame games.
Blame games manifest intense cowardice in an individual. People who blame have intense fear of possibilities. Full responsibility towards life prepares an individual to take precautions. It also inculcates a psychological preparation in case of unfortunate events. Blaming purely entails a refrain from truth and responsibility. Therefore, blameful persons are subjects of intense cowardice.
OBrien, Tim. The Things They Carried: A Work of Fiction. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1990.