The Things They Carried essay on Tim O’Brien’s anthology of short tales might be a difficult chore for some students. The majority of pupils have difficulties selecting the appropriate titles, paper format, and thesis statements. — Relax — we’ve put together some suggestions to assist you in writing excellent homework:
- Pick a topic. Read the book thoroughly and make note of any passages that you believe may be relevant to your work. come up with some ideas. Alternatively, take a look at our The Things They Carried essay examples for inspiration.
- Create a thesis statement. Take a look at your topic and consider what issue you’ll examine in your paper. Should it be about images or
- The Things They Carried themes, or should you conduct a literary analysis of the author’s writing style?
Stick to the plan. Organize your essay and ensure that all of your ideas and arguments flow together in a logical sequence. First and foremost, state the topic in your introduction. The next step is to create body paragraphs by giving evidence, arguments, counterarguments, illustrations, and quotes to back up your perspective. Finally, restate your thesis statement but don’t repeat it.
If you still don’t know where to begin, consider responding to the following The Things They Carried essay prompts:
- Why does “The Man I Killed” focus on a Vietnamese character? Why don’t we see similar characters in other narrative?
- Consider why O’Brien ended The Things They Carried with an episode from his childhood rather than the Vietnam War’s masterpiece, which is dedicated to it.
- Why does this war stories collection lack heroes? What exactly is meant by the word “heroism” in this piece?
- Is there a place for women in war? What is the significance of characters like Mary Anne, Martha, and Kathleen in the story?
- Examine the book’s structure. Examine if the tales progress linearly and how the writing style affects the themes. How does a reader’s perception change when reading first person vs third person accounts?
- Examine the shame subject in greater depth. What compelled Tim O’Brien to go to Vietnam? Is there a place for shame in soldiers’ lives? Is it responsible for their bravery?
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In this book, the roles of women are important. What are the responsibilities of a woman in O’Brien’s narrative? How does gender influence one’s attitude to war? Mary Anne’s character is analyzed to develop your viewpoint, and her transition from a naive young lady to a murderer is examined. Consider the title of the book. What compelled O’Brien to choose it? What do the major characters have to carry with them for the rest of their lives? Is this a novel or a non-fiction work? Examine the book’s dedication page to determine how it is linked to the narrative.
Do you believe that certain elements in this book are associated with actual events from the Vietnamese conflict? In The Things They Carried, what is the significance of death? What examples do you have to back up your argument that death is either something to be afraid of or a release from a horrible existence? You may now utilize the example questions above or make your own and write a fantastic excellent essay on O’Brien’s work. Check below to get more ideas for your essay!
The study will focus on Tim O’Brien’s novel The Things They Carried, a collection of twenty-two linked short stories about a platoon of American soldiers in Vietnam, as well as the analysis of this work. It is a look at the lives of these men both during and after the war. In “Tim O’Brien,” the author Tim O’Brien creates a protagonist named “Tim O’Brien.”
The fictional Tim O’Brien recounts his experiences in Vietnam and the subsequent themes in his novels. He tells war stories told to him by other soldiers, comments on the art of storytelling, and relates personal experiences. The Things They Carried is an introspective memory novel that is also a powerful meditation on the effects of warfare and a self-conscious examination of storytelling techniques and goals.
That was all it was, a mistake, and it had killed Kiowa. (O’Brien, The Thing They Carried 191) He recalled showing Kiowa a photo of his girlfriend at one point. He remembered turning on his flashlight. It was a bad idea to do something stupid like that, but he did it anyhow, and he remembers giving the photograph to Kiowa – “Hey, she’s beautiful,” he’d remarked – before the field went up in flames all around them. The boy considers it murder.
The flashlight was responsible. It’s idiotic and hazardous. As a result, his friend Kiowa was murdered. (O’Brien, The Thing They Carried 191) Norman Bowker discovered Kiowa. He was just two feet deep in water. Only the heel of a boot could be seen. (O’Brien, The Thing They Carried 191) A young soldier to his left was still looking for his girlfriend’s photo, several steps to the left of him. He still remembered killing Kiowa.
The youngster wanted to confess. He wanted to inform the lieutenant that in the middle of the night he had taken out Billie’s photo and passed it over to Kiowa, who said, “Hey, she’s cute,” before turning on the flashlight. The light had caused it. It was like being hunted by a bright object in the dark.
Each person’s tale is unique. In “The Things They Carried,” Tim O’Brien describes his experiences as a young innocent soldier being thrown into the Vietnam conflict and how they changed him not only as a person but also as a witness to the effect of the war on his comrades. Tim O’Brien discusses many characters and their influence on him throughout the book during their time in Vietnam.
Tim O’Brien regarded Mary Anne Bell as one of the most outstanding individuals. In “Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong,” Tim O’Brien describes a girl who came straight out of high school to be with her boyfriend, Mark Fosie. Mark Fosie was a young soldier who intended to bring his girlfriend to Vietnam so that she could stay with him while he served in the war. Mary Anne Bell is one person who stands out in this chapter because not only was she the only woman in it, but she was also portrayed as a symbol for all of the soldiers affected by warfare.
She serves as a representative for the themes of war and what it brings to soldiers at this time, despite her youth and trip to see her beau. Mary Anne’s goal in this portion is to demonstrate the connection between the audience and the narrative being presented so that readers may comprehend how American troops viewed America during this period. Mary Anne Bell is one of the most important characters in this tale because she symbolizes a major aspect of the conflict and how it has impacted many of our American veterans.
We meet Mary Anne Bell in the chapter “Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong” of The Things They Carried. Tim O’Brien learns about her after hearing a tale from his buddy Bob “Rat” Kiley, who was a platoons medic in Vietnam. Bob “Rat” Kiley was a platoons medic who served in the mountains of Chu Lai during the Vietnam War. Despite Rat’s reputation for exaggeration and hyperbole, “Still, with this tale, Rat never backed down. He stated he had seen the event firsthand, and I remember how upset he became one morning when Mitchell Sanders disputed its fundamental idea.” Tim O’Brien recalled.
Rat Kiley tells the tale of how Mark Fosie, a young soldier stationed in Vietnam, flies his girlfriend to the hills of Chu Lai. When his girlfriend arrives at their campsite, he is referred to as a “very tall, big-boned blonde” by the troops. At best, Rat said she was seventeen years old and just graduated from Cleveland Heights Senior High with long white legs and blue eyes and a complexion like strawberry ice cream. She had charming mannerisms and was very sociable.
The first few days, she’d wear her blue jeans and a black bathing suit top on the volleyball court throughout the day, and at night she’d dance to Rat Kiley’s portable tap deck. She was full of life and intrigued by all that the war had to offer. She learnt a new language quickly, was taught how to use a gun, and even persuaded Mark Fosie to take her into town. “The war interested her. The land as well as the mystery intrigued her.
During the Second World War, Mary Anne Bell began learning about existence when she was only a child. Tim O’Brien depicts Mary Anne Bell in the beginning of the story as a very innocent and feminine young woman, but as the novel progresses she transforms into something completely different from what she first appears to be. “By the end of the second week, when four casualties arrived, Mary Anne wasn’t frightened to get her hands dirty. In certain respects, she appeared enthralled by it” (190).
Mary Anne grew to like the soldiers’ way of life longer she stayed with them at the campsite. “The ease with which she adopted the ways of the bush. Makeup, manicures, and fingernail filing were all abandoned. She deactivated her jewelry, cut her hair short, and wrapped it in a dark green bandanna. Cleanliness became an afterthought” (BD 51). As Mary Anne gets more engrossed in how to wage war, she begins to modify her beliefs and transform into a darker version of herself.
Mary Anne’s boyfriend, Mark Fosie, notices her changing into a less feminine version of herself, and he begins to reconsider his decision for bringing her to his station in the first place. Mary Anne later begins to participate in the green beret soldiers’ nighttime assaults and leaves Mark Fosie and the camp to follow the war. At the conclusion of the chapter, Mark Fosie hears Mary Anne’s voice singing a high-pitched song in the woods all by herself. When he goes looking for her, he enters a black, hidden hut. The smell of death was not all there was to it.
The decayed head of a huge black leopard hung at the rear of the hootch, with strips of yellow-brown skin draping from the rafters. And bones. Stacks of bones – all kinds. “Rat Kiley followed close behind him, accompanied by another soldier, just to see where he was going. They had gone into the hootch after him and discovered Mary Anne there. A necklace made up of human tongues was around her throat.
The tongues were strung along a length of copper wire and overlapped one another, with the tips curled upward as if caught in a final shrill syllable. After joining the “greenies,” Mary Anne went off alone into the mountains one morning and did not return. This woman was no longer the same person who had arrived in Vietnam as a fresh high school graduate; she was now a cold-blooded murderer.
After reading the chapter “Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong,” the viewer is able to witness how Mary Anne Bell changes into the new person she has become. One of Mary Anne’s first symbols is Americans who lived through the Vietnam War era. The families of soldiers who lived in America did not fight in the war, but they observed it on television, newspapers, and tales told by returning troops.
Mary Anne’s journey to Vietnam is a parallel of America’s involvement in the conflict. She was innocent and ignorant of what the war contained, reflecting on America’s “innocence” and lack of understanding about how the war was fought for the soldiers. Mary Anne also represents the idea that Americans feel entitled to everything. Tim O’Brien stated earlier in The Things They Carried that he feels no sense of the war and just wants it to be about politics.
Americans are so convinced of their right to invade foreign nations that they have conscripted young, unskilled men who are merely sent into the war to fight a battle that does not concern them. Mary Anne’s arrival at the war is an example of this, when she feels safe everywhere. Also, when Mark Fosie asks her if she would go back to being his girlfriend, Mary Anne replies, ““You’re in a place where you don’t belong,” softly. ” “She took it all in, the hootch, the whole war—the mountains, the mean little towns, the pathways and trees and rivers and deep fog-enshrouded vales.”
The final thing Mary Anne represents is how a conflict might transform something so innocent into a heartless soldier. She was a pleasant, young woman who was jovial and full of laughter at first, but she would eventually become the cold-blooded killer who would get lost and live her life in the jungle. What a lot of our soldiers experienced during the war is represented by her necklace made up of human tongues and her loss of innocence.
The use of Mary Anne as a symbol of the conflict allows the audience to identify with the tale. Mary Anne Bell is a key character in this novel. She is used throughout this chapter as a symbol for America, which aids in the education of how America viewed the war and how American soldiers saw America at that time. The manner she transformed into an entirely different person at the end of the chapter demonstrated how quickly our troops were altered by battle violence. You don’t know what can happen until you’ve been through it yourself.
Tim O’Brien treats all of the necessities of war carried by his fellow soldiers in The Things They Carried, as indicated by the book’s title. They also carried within themselves the images and memories of home, in addition to their weapons and gear for survival. The author explains how people loaded their pockets with a variety of goods, from compact to bulky. “The things men carried inside” were among them (25).
The weight of memory was so great that it frequently proved too much for one person, and they shared the burden. They took up what others could no longer bear (14). Obrien notes that the most difficult memories were those of loved ones, especially wives and girlfriends. O’Brien discusses the characteristics of love-related memories in a combat zone, which might be a life-saving grace or a self-destructive destructive weapon. Women have a unique position in O’Brien’s squad, as they do among all military personnel.
Their women are thousands of miles away. They are as intellectually and emotionally distant from their loved ones back home as they are geographically. The soldiers’ thoughts become engaged and focused on the tumult of battle all around them when firefights erupt, so thinking about ladies may be fleeting or distracting. It might be a memory of the person they want to see if they survive, or it could divert them and result in their death or the death of another soldier.
Women are every bit as genuine as their colorful daydreams, yet when they awake, there is always the doubt that they ever existed. The anxious and disturbing world combined with hope and dread, pleasure and melancholy is where they reside. When the soldiers receive their letters, it reaffirms to them that women will be there for them if and when they get home.
The soldier may fear their girlfriend will be there and doubt she will understand. The notion of the girlfriend might provide a solid foundation on which to build on another day, or with a “dear John” letter inadvertently create the impression that everything is hopeless. In the thoughts of the battle solider, women occupy an area distinct from any other.
The idea of “Martha, a student at Mount Sebastian College in New Jersey,” as Lieutenant Jimmy Cross put it, was always preoccupying (1). She was a constant presence in his life, and he had a set pattern for looking at photographs of her. She embodied many of the ambiguities that confronted men when they thought about women.
“But I shall not keep silence any longer. We may speak of Mara, but it is time to speak of Martha; and about her I am going to tell you something that may perhaps save your life. She was a girl who had fallen in love with him—not an adolescent girl, as Mara had been at first, but a young woman who was serious and devoted enough for the work he required of her: she knew nothing else than him —and all his efforts on her part were rewarded by such complete devotion as she gave herself without stint or limit. He loved another woman more than himself … ” ( 11-12).
Finally, Cross would not release his affection for her. He put it down to the loss of one of his soldiers, “Now Ted Lavender has died because he was unable to stop thinking about her” (7). He felt that because to his fixation on her, he had allowed his men to go unchecked and Lavender was shot as a result. As a result, Cross decides to burn all of her photographs and letters. Now “he loathed her,” according to Shepherd (24). His feelings for her were just one example of the many paradoxes of warfare.