Skip Nav

The Things They Carried, Tim O'Brien - Essay

Logging out…

❶He was in love with her but later discovered that she had a severe, incurable illness. When the fruits of both are mixed, the result is to diminish each.

Suggested Essay Topics

Introduction
From the SparkNotes Blog
by Tim O'Brien

In fact, Jimmy understands that Martha does not love him and gives him false hope. One day the Alpha Company leaves for an operation, but even there the lieutenant cannot concentrate and thinks about his distant love. At this time, his friend Lavender gets injured, and after a while, he dies. This event makes Jimmy Cross to reflect on the unrequited love for Martha and to analyze the consequences of his obsessive thoughts about her.

In this story, Martha symbolizes love, as the most valuable human feeling, and danger, since this attitude leads to tragic consequences. She expresses a magic love that resists the brutal reality of war. Ultimately, this unfulfilling dream of Martha, the hopes for a future life with her lead to the fact that the lieutenant is constantly distracted by thoughts about the object of his desire, even at the most critical moment.

With this story, the author makes a statement that in the war the soldiers should focus on their actions, on what is happening at the current moment and not be distracted by the ghostly memories of the past, as this can cost a human life. Therefore, the character of Martha symbolizes a confrontation between love and danger, fantasy and the cruel reality of life.

This story describes the decision of soldier Mark Fossie to bring his girl to the Vietnam War. The author describes Mary Anne as a beautiful, curious girl in nice clothes. But with a stay in Vietnam, she transforms into a real warrior: This story is a symbol of the transformation of all soldiers in the war, as they come there innocent and inexperienced guys and become entirely different, strong and tempered men.

The author draws a parallel between how Mary Anne loses her femininity on her arrival in Vietnam, and soldiers lose their innocence in the war. Thus, Mary Anne Bell symbolizes the loss of innocence of all soldiers who go through the horrors of war. Being at war, he thinks of his classmate Linda, with whom he once went to the cinema.

He was in love with her but later discovered that she had a severe, incurable illness. The author thinks of this event as the first experience of death in his life and analyzes it in the context that memory is capable of giving eternal life to people who once were dear to the heart.

The author asserts the idea that memory makes a person immortal since it allows to perpetuate his traits into various types of art. Therefore, Linda symbolizes death, eternal life and the function of memory in art. Although the main characters of the stories are soldiers of the war, female characters also play a significant role in this book.

For "O'Brien," the landscape and the Vietnamese occupying that landscape, such as the elderly Vietnamese men who watch him revisit the spot where Kiowa perished, are mostly incidental. Mary Anne actively sought out the ways of the Vietnamese, not just to observe from a distance, but to participate in if possible. Mary Anne, who should have behaved according to accepted Western norms, becomes so much a part of the landscape of Vietnam that she becomes "unnatural" to Mark and Rat.

For example, the humming they hear coming from the Greenies' hut is freaky and unnatural, somehow not human, but it is Mary Anne's humming. And particularly as a female, she should be "domesticated" and behave in accordance with the readers' expectations of a young woman in a decade prior to the women's liberation movement.

Instead she is seduced by the foreign landscape of Vietnam — one which "O'Brien" resists and barely describes — and is reduced to her animal-like primal self, a killing machine. Finally, opposite to "O'Brien," Mary Anne shows no resistance to the landscape, and has the agility and prowess to slip into the jungle like an adept, predatory jungle animal ready for the hunt. O'Brien relies on symbolism Joseph Conrad created in Heart of Darkness to connect the landscape of Vietnam to the landscape of immorality that Mary Anne succumbs to and "O'Brien" resists.

In five pages this paper discusses how the author is able to blur reality and fiction through his unique novel structure in The Th This five page report analyzes the structure utilized by Tim O'Brien. The contention is presented that this utilization effectiv This paper examines how heroism is conceptualized within the context of the Vietnam War in a comparative analysis of these texts c The sole criteria that OBrien supports for telling a "true" war story is this: Some of that baggage inevitably includes fear, guilt, homesickness, anger, and that struggle bet In the case of the Vietnam War, and OBriens book, the consequence of war was, in many cases, age.

As we shall see, the However, the traumatic experiences that torture him do come out, but, they do so slowly, in bits and pieces. New to eCheat Create an Account!

Navigate Guide

Main Topics

Privacy Policy

- The Burden in The Things They Carried by O'Brien In "The Things They Carried," O'Brien made reference to the Vietnam war that was closely associated with the physical, psychological, and emotional weight the soldiers beared.

Privacy FAQs

Get free homework help on Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried: book summary, chapter summary and analysis, quotes, essays, and character analysis courtesy of CliffsNotes. In The Things They Carried, protagonist "Tim O'Brien," a writer and Vietnam War veteran, works through his memories of his war service to find meaning in them.

About Our Ads

Join Now Log in Home Literature Essays The Things They Carried The Things They Carried Essays Rationalizing the Fear Within Brad Champion The Things They Carried. Both The Things They Carried and Apocalypse Now explore the trauma of the Vietnam War and its influence on soldiers' fears. Unlike most editing & proofreading services, we edit for everything: grammar, spelling, punctuation, idea flow, sentence structure, & more. Get started now!

Cookie Info

Sep 05,  · Suggested Essay Topics. “The Man I Killed” is the only story that focuses primarily on a Vietnamese character. Why does this shift in focus occur in this particular story? Apr 22,  · [In the following essay, Smith examines the representations of masculinity and femininity in five of the stories in The Things They Carried.] Tim O'Brien's book of interlocked stories, The Things They Carried, garnered one rave review after another, reinforcing O'Brien's already established position as one of the most important veteran writers of the Vietnam War.