The Things They Carried

The Things They Brought

The Important Things They Brought: Concern and Redemption In the fictional unique The Things They Carried by Tim O’brien, scenes concerning the death of a comrade or an enemy soldier appear to convey and accentuate 2 unifying styles: redemption and encumbrance. While some characters, such as “the young soldier” who is evidently O’Brien, venture to discover some sort of closure and redemption, others, consisting of Lieutenant Jimmy Cross, blame themselves for the demise of their comrade-at-arms and can not ease themselves of the painful memories.

Furthermore, they bring this psychological and psychosomatic “problem,” comprised of distress, trepidation, fondness, and yearning after the war has ended and throughout their lives. Most importantly, O’Brien adopts the persona of “the young soldier,” who is among the couple of characters in the book who tries to find a method to ease themselves of their emotional problems through redemption.

For example, in “The Man I Killed,” O’Brien explains the Viet Cong soldier he eliminated as being “a scholar … [who had] been identified to continue his education in mathematics … and … began going to classes at the university in Saigon, where he avoided politics and taken notice of the problems of calculus” (O’Brien 122). By picturing an extensive life for the victim, O’Brien is struggling to discover solace, while at the exact same time, making an effort to redeem himself for dedicating a sin.

In addition, this kind of remorse indicates the development of a mental trauma that he will no question carry on after the war, which enhances the style of “encumbrance,” in which the soldiers cling to. Furthermore, in the chapter “Sightseeing tour,” O’Brien says, “I ‘d gone under with Kiowa, and now after 20 years I ‘d finally worked my way out” while standing in the river where Kiowa had fulfilled his death (O’Brien 179). The fact that O’Brien go back to the same exact place where Kiowa had died twenty years earlier communicates that his death had an extensive and reflective impact on him.

Moreover, by re-immersing himself in the streaming river, somewhat similar to baptism, he is striving to reach closure. Clearly, these acts of redemption enable the characters, particularly O’Brien, to accomplish a specific procedure of peace and calmness. Second of all, while O’Brien is to some extent effective in his attempts at redemption and relieving himself of the various faults, others, especially Lieutenant Jimmy Cross, are not as victorious.

For instance, in the chapter “Love,” O’Brien composed that “at one point, I remember, we stopped briefly over a picture of Ted Lavender, and after a while Jimmy rubbed his eyes and stated he ‘d never forgiven himself for Lavender’s death” and that it was his fault due to the fact that he kept thinking about his beloved Martha (O’Brien 28). This communicates that regardless of the reality that Lt. Cross was NOT accountable for the demise of Ted Lavender, Cross still thinks that it was a mistake that he could’ve averted if he had meticulously taken notice of his males and their surroundings, rather of daydreaming.

Thus, he feels obliged to bear individual obligation whenever a soldier under his authority passes away, despite its inevitability. Additionally, the fact that Jimmy Cross is picturing Martha during the war recommends that a lot of the soldiers in Vietnam did not have the reward nor the desire to participate in a war in which they felt had no real function. Hence, Lt. Cross’ burden is magnified to a particular degree, since in his mind, Ted Lavender’s death was for no real factor and eventually, achieved nothing.

Evidently, the quest for redemption and the ability to dump their emotional and psychosomatic distress is not simple for veterans. In conclusion, scenes concerning the demise of O’Brien’s fellow comrade-at-arms in the Vietnam War highlighted the encumbrances that the enduring platoon members had to carry after the war. And in some sense, The important things They Carried is O’Brien’s personal method to alleviating himself of the problems that he has actually endured throughout his life and achieving revitalization. Functions Mentioned O’Brien, Tim. The Important Things They Carried. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1990.

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