Chen Ku Wei

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Yousi MazupleENC 1102

March/14/2017

The Things They Carried

Tim O’Brian’ book, “Thethings they carried” explains the typical life of a soldier when ina battlefield. The author gives readers fascinating but disturbingnarration of the soldier’s experiences while at wars. The bookshows that the battlefield effects are long-lasting to soldiers asthey continue to experience trauma, even after the war is over. Sucharmies keep on feeling the consequences of the wars, includingemotional and psychological effects (Ferguson 100). In the text, theauthor narrates the conditions of the soldiers from a personalexperience since he was a foot soldier himself. For instance, somesoldiers take photographs of their girlfriends because of strongromantic feelings (Donovan 99). Sad memories have far-reachingeffects on the lives of veteran soldiers. When a soldier recalls howa colleague was killed on the battlefield, he is likely to have amental illness. Soldiers who fall in love but cannot get time tospend with their lovers because of war develop emotional disorders.The paper examines the effects of various tools which soldiers carrywhen they participate in wars. Tim O’Brian’s book, The ThingsThey Carried provides valuable insight into the emotional andpsychological costs of the war because of the detrimental effects ofcombat enhances the probability of soldiers coming out of thebattlefield with PTSD.

For many young people, themeaning of war means fun, brave, and heroic until they step into thebattle and then everything changes. In the story “The things theycarried” Tim O’Brian’ show how the devastating effects of thewar can cause PTSD to the soldiers. The book exhibits that, contraryto what many believe about wars, the life of a soldier is not asenjoyable but full of devastating effects. Soldiers have to alwaysfight for their life, witness their colleagues get shot, partake inthe killings, and live with the traumatizing memories of war. Asdepicted in the movie Hacksaw Ridge, people have differentmotivations for joining the military (Gibson, n. p). While Doss wasyoung, he was forced to tussle a gun out of his father’s handduring a fight between his parents. His motivation to wrestle a gunout of his father was captivated by a framed poster of the TenCommandments hanging in his childhood home. This indicates that Dossgrew up in a Christian background. Based on the experiences he wentthrough as a child, he decided to join the military but vowed not tocarry or use a gun owing to the bad memories it brought to him. Dossdecided to bring and use his Bible as a weapon in war. Also, Doss hadenrolled as a Medic in the camp to minimize his interaction withrifles. Doss rescued 75 people in a fight that took place on thehellish Maeda Escarpment in April 1945. He achieved this bysingle-handedly running into the Kill Zone and carrying woundedsoldiers to safety. Thus, this shows the experience that war forcesan individual to face even when it is against one’s choice. Dosshad faith in his Bible to the extent of risking his life by runninginto war without any military weapons to rescue his colleagues(Gibson n. p).

“The War was over, and therewas no place, in particular, to go” and find the country they havesupported have no place for them. Soldiers at war face a lot ofchallenges (Demobbed n. p). They become used to routines andcommands, and in the process, they heavily depend on instructions toexecute orders. Moreover, this makes them feel as if their lives onlyrevolve in war. As a motivation for life, some soldiers often carryphotos of their loved ones to serve as a reminder to them the lifethat they will live with their relatives they finish theirassignments. The soldiers will be motivated to win a battle in thehope of reuniting with loved ones. At times, fitting into societybecomes complicated because they have spent most of their time awayfrom their family and friends.

The Vietnam War differed fromprevious confrontations in its use of a rainforest and mountains,which placed the American soldiers at greater risk since they lackedthe experience of such terrain. At times, our youth can illusion usinto desiring to go to a battlefield, not knowing what it entails tobe in one. Soldiers face a lot of challenges ranging from inclementweather, attacks by enemies or even death. The war in the Rainforestproved to be more challenging because soldiers had to make sure thatthey neutralized their enemy (Duncan n. p). It is also difficult toascertain the kind of weapons that the enemy is using, therebycomplicating the combat.

After reading O’Brian’s text,readers are exposed to the challenges, which veterans face duringwars. The book and other sources such as the films Hacksaw Ridge andA rumor of war help highlight the devastating impacts that suchbattles have on individuals. They material contribute to demystifyingthe myth that war is fun and heroic. Instead, they show the lossesthat soldiers suffer, including the loss of limbs, friends, life, andother consequences like PTSD.

Works Cited

Demobbed: Coming Home After WorldWar Two.&quot&nbspTimesHigher Education (THE).N.p., 22 May 2015. Web. 14 Mar. 2017.

Donovan, Josephine. “BecomingMen and Animal Sacrifice: Contemporary Literary Examples.&quot&nbspCreaturalFictions. PalgraveMacmillan US, 2016. Print.

Duncan, Patrick, S. ARumor of War. IMDb.1980. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0081443/

Ferguson, Lisa. “Dumb Coozesand Damaged Men: Female stereotypes, Male Victimization, and Manipulative Narration in the Thingsthey Carried and inthe Lake of theWoods.&quot&nbspJournalof Research in Gender Studies&nbsp6.1,2016. Print.

Gibson, Mel. Hacksaw Ridge. IMDb.2016. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2119532/