Courage In The Things They Carried

Words: 862
Pages: 4

True courage is found in those who face danger even when they feel afraid and take a stand for what they believe is right. Wars happening around the world occur due to countries disagreeing on what is equitable on their own terms. Similar to the constant battle between countries at war, frightened soldiers in the Vietnam War were constantly faced with both inner and physical battles. The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien tells the story of young men in combat who face endless obstacles on the battlefield that teach them the borderlines of courage and cowardice. Although the burdens they carried on the inside were intangible, the soldiers’ moral load was far beyond their physical load of heavy weapons and machinery. In the novel The Things They Carried, O’Brien uses the soldiers’ obsession with courage to portray society’s fear of moral weakness through Tim’s impulse to dodge the draft to go to Canada, Norman Bowker’s reaction to his friend Kiowa’s death in the sewage field, and Azar’s obstinate behavior to accept his own weakness. To call a soldier a coward is an oxymoron …show more content…
Tim O’Brien, in addition to all of the soldiers in The Things They Carried, is faced on numerous occasions with the options to be brave or to be a coward. Most would choose to be brave, however, Tim O’Brien and Norman Bowker show that sometimes a meager smell or the need to please one’s family can lead to cowardice. On the contrary, Azar uses bravery as a mask for his own insecurities. The soldiers fear the rectitude of their actions and through them, Tim O’Brien shows that doing what is right in the eyes of society does not always result in an act of courage. Even when on the borderline of courage and cowardice, bona fide courage can only be achieved after overcoming moral weakness and people should not be afraid to follow their true feelings even if they have to go against social