Essay Chapter 1 The Things They Carried

Submitted By Bootyexpress
Words: 384
Pages: 2

In the first chapter of “The Things They Carry”, author Tim O’Brien uses several anaphoras in order to really emphasize how the Vietnam War weighed down on American soldiers. Throughout the whole chapter, O’Brien constantly repeats the phrase “they carried” in hopes of revealing the burdensome weight the soldiers had to undergo. Along with describing the physical things the soldiers had to carry, he also incorporates the psychological aspects of the war. He explains how “Jimmy Cross carried a compass, maps, code books, binoculars, and a .45-caliber pistol that weighed 2.9 pounds fully loaded. He carried a strobe light and the responsibility for the lives of his men” (O’Brien 5). He goes on and on about the physical objects Jimmy had to carry and all of a sudden, he completely changes the tone by including the most detrimental and exhausting “object” he had to carry: "the responsibility for the lives of his men." This throws the painful reality into the readers face. They suddenly realize war isn't just physically exhausting, but mentally too. The intangible weight is the most destructive. It really hits the reader when the author explains how “They carried the sky. The whole atmosphere, they carried it, the humidity, the monsoons, the stink of fungus and decay, all of it, they carried gravity” (O’Brien 14). This cumulative sentence wears the reader down. It’s almost as if they just want the sentence to end already but it just keeps going, just like how the soldiers hoped for the war to end,