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"The Things They Carried" By Tim O'brien

853 words - 4 pages

"The Things They Carried" is a compelling and powerful essay that examines the emotions and burdens that the soldiers carried with them as they fought for survival during a time of extreme conflict and anguish. Throughout the novel O'Brien introduces the reader to the different men in his company, and the items that they carried with them. As O'Brien describes each item, we learn about their owner and the fears and emotions that they carry. And by the end of the novel, the reader has an understanding of the true weight that these men carried within them as they fought for their lives and for those items and things that they carried.A Look into the Items That They Carried"The things they ...view middle of the document...

As O'Brien talked about the pebble and the emotions that it provoked in Jimmy, I found my self thinking back to the times when I to had received gifts from loved ones, and how those gifts provoked emotions in me that were similar to the ones felt by Jimmy. Because of this, I was emotionally pulled into the story and through O'Brien's written language I found my self sympathizing with the Jimmy.Another element that makes this novel so moving is the symbolism that is used within O'Brien's writing. Many of the items that O'Brien mentions are symbolic of the inner burdens that the owners of those items carry within. An example would be the letters that Jimmy carried from his girlfriend Martha. Those letters represented the love that he held for her, and the love that he desired from her.After reading the essay, I sat down at my desk and asked my self what it was that O'Brien was trying to tell the reader. After sometime I came to the decision that O'Brien was trying to tell us that although our inner beliefs and burdens are very important, we can not use them as a means...

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