‘‘The Things They Carried’’
‘‘The Things They Carried,’’ published in 1990 is written by Tim O’Brien. The narrator illustrates a war fiction about soldiers of the Alpha Company, battling the current and long duration effects of the Vietnam War. Steven Kaplan states ‘‘O’Brien introduces the reader to some of the things, both imaginary and concrete, emotional and physical, that the average foot solider had to carry through the jungles of Vietnam’’ (579.) While Susan Farrell, also adds the ‘‘traumatic story of the death of Ted Lavender’’ (594.) Tim O’Brien artistic production of ‘‘The Things They Carried,’’ portrays soldier’s physical and mental burdens, including one’s blame for another’s death.
‘‘All of the ‘things’ are depicted in a style that is almost scientific in its precision. We are told how much each subject weighs…we are even told how many ounces each round weighed […]’’ (579.) Throughout the story, the narrator informs what each solider conveys through the war. He describes the misery of transporting heavy weight all together. Simple items such as bug repellent, cigarettes, salt, lighters, and more weighed the least of 12 pounds. Depending on the soldier, like Ted Lavender being extremely terrified of the war he carried tranquilizers and 7 ounces of dope to ease his fear. As well as, Dave Jensen, carrying his toothbrush and several soap bars he took from a hotel. Along with their personal items, they had heavy machinery and equipment just to survive their current situation. For example, ‘‘… Henry Dobbins carried the M-60, which weighed 23 pounds unloaded, but which was almost always loaded. In addition, Dobbins carried between 10 and 15 pounds of ammunition draped in belts across his chest and
shoulders’’ (566.) As well as 8.2 pound gas operated assault rifle with numerous of other weapons to lift. If a mission seemed risky, they carried all that they could. Such as a 28 pound mine detector that would be passed around the...