The Things They Carried

Topics: Psychology, Mind, Thought Pages: 2 (584 words) Published: June 24, 2014
Personal Response

"The Things They Carried," by Tim O'Brien. At first it seemed to be just another war story. As I started reading I thought I was not going to have any interest at all in the story; however after I got into the story I found myself more interested than I thought I was going to be. This story is an excellent representation of war itself. It is very realistic and easy to relate to even without any personal experience with war. The title itself paves the way for the entire story, it could not be any better for the story then it is. The entire story is about "the things they carried," and the author does choose to go into great detail about the things that they did carry. Hence the title.

While I was reading this book one question that kept running through my mind was in regard to the depth of information about the physical weights of the soldiers' items. Why would O'Brien go into this much detail about how much every individual item weighs? One thought on this that came to mind was that perhaps it is not so much about the physical weight, some of it’s about the overall psychological experience alongside it. War is very stressful and can easily become more than one can handle. I think that Tim O'Brien does a very good job at throwing in all of that information about how much this weighs and who has to carry that to almost overwhelm the reader. When he "overwhelms" the reader he makes it much easier for the reader to see the story from the frame of mind that a soldier would see it. The author also breaks in to the detailed list disrupting the flow of the items by informing the reader of the deaths of soldiers. He talks about them in giving us personal information about the soldiers and then all of the sudden another one is dead. This also helps the reader get a clear representation of war because in war it is very dangerous and you never know what is going to come your way.

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