Essay They Carried

Submitted By rockwell101
Words: 534
Pages: 3

The Things They Carried is an intriguing, realistic novel about the Vietnam War. Based on his own experiences, Tim O’Brien writes short stories about serving as a United States soldier in the war. Most interestingly, Tim O’Brien explains his thoughts about death, and how he dealt with it every day of his career. I was extremely interested to learn about the Vietnam War, because I had very little previous knowledge about the subject. I also wanted to know more about what it is like to be in battle. This novel gave me a new perspective about the Vietnam War, and how challenging it is to be a soldier in war. Reading The Things They Carried, broadened my knowledge about the Vietnam War, but even more so, I learned what it was like to be a soldier during that terrifying time. I now have a better idea about what it was like to be on the battlefield. I was also fascinated by the thoughts of the soldiers. For example, Tim O’Brien explains what happened when he killed someone for the first time. He copes with this trauma by imagining the whole life of the man he killed. He envisions that the weak Vietnamese man was forced into battle so he would not disgrace his family. Tim then realizes that he took the man’s whole life away from him. Tim took him from his family, friends, and loved ones. The author then understands that just as easily and quickly, the same things could be taken away from him. He imagines the sorrow he has just created for an entire family. Reading the author’s inner-thoughts was extremely interesting. I now have the utmost respect for soldiers; they have to cope with the horrors of death every day. While reading The Things They Carried, I was introduced to an extensive amount of new military vocabulary, both official military terms as well as slang used by soldiers. For example, Dustoff and RTO are official military terms. RTO stands for radio transmission operator. The RTO’s job is to communicate with the military headquarters about emergency information. In the Vietnam War,…