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The Things They Carried and Guernica

  • Date Submitted: 04/10/2011 09:27 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 64.1 
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The Things They Carried


War is full of death and sadness. It is a tragedy to anyone that it involves and brings nothing but death. The book deals with the hardships that the war entails. It showcases the soldier’s emotions and how they have to deal with them. The book also tells stories on how the soldiers feel after the war. Pablo Picasso’s Guernica expresses the emotions and destruction that war entails. Picasso thinks that war is futile and expresses this feeling as well as others in the painting. Both of these pieces of art reflect on the hardships the come with war and the price that must be paid during time of conflict.
The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien is a reflection on his stories and memories. The men of Alpha Company deal with the short and long term effects of the Vietnam War. In the summer of 1968, Tim O’Brien receives a draft notice. Despite a desire to follow his thoughts and flee to Canada, he feels he would be embarrassed to refuse to fulfill his patriotic duty and so decides to fight in Vietnam. During their tour of duty, the men of the Alpha Company must cope with the loss of their own men and the guilt that comes from killing and watching others die.  After he returns from war, O’Brien deals with his memories by telling stories about Vietnam.
The main basis of the book that O’Brien wrote is about things that soldiers carried with them, both literal and figurative. The characters carry physical loads such as their weapons and other gear on their backs. However the soldiers also carry emotional loads such as grief, fear, and love. For every man in Alpha Company, their emotional burdens outweigh their physical burdens. Tim O’Brien talks very little about a single mans physical hardships compared with his emotional ones. Soldiers cope with their emotions in different ways. For example, Henry Dobbins wear his girlfriend’s pantyhose around his neck. He states that it keeps her in his mind and gives him luck. In the same manner, Jimmy...

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