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Things They Carried by Tim O'brien Essay

Assignment id 1005043
Discipline Biology
Assignment type Essay
Words 2128
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The brief story, "The Things They Carried" was composed by writer Tim O'Brien in an odd pattern. It includes a non-linear narrative of a brief period in the life span of a military unit active in Vietnam during the late 1960's, punctuated with an astonishingly vast stock of items carried by each of the soldiers. The piece starts by introducing inventory and narrative items in somewhat separated sections, but as the narrative evolves the 2 groups become more and more combined together, until it will become evident that who they are and what they are carrying are one as well. In addition, it becomes evident that, in order for the unit's members to do the job they were sent to Vietnam to do, they have to streamline what they carry -- only take what's needed to endure, dispose of the remainder. This applies in a concrete sense, in which additional weight can make them less physically active, and also in an emotional/metaphysical feel, where the heavy psychic lack of trying to survive the daily life span of a warrior leaves no space to "extras". In O'Brien's narrative, there's an underlying question in all that he presents -- what is a requirement, and also what needs to be disposed of? Should "The Things They Carried" has a protagonist, it would likely be Lt. Jimmy Cross. He, together with his obsession over a woman back home called Martha, seems to be the primary vehicle by which O'Brien defines the arc of the process of locating a workable path through a challenging situation. The author lays out the basic underlying explanation of what's carried near the start of the story: "The things they carried were largely determined by requirement" (O'Brien). In the beginning, it appears that this is merely a reference to "items" that have physical measurement, the hardware o.. .

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