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The Things They Carried

Uploaded by HulaChick on Oct 06, 2005

Men in the Vietnam War go through different actions like being ambushed and attacking the enemy which may make them feel different emotionally. These men deal with everyday death and other horrific conditions of the war. The soldiers in the novel The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien, have been put through emotional and physical situations in and out of the battle field. To keep themselves from breaking into post traumatic stress or any other kind of emotion, the men joke about death instead of letting it have an effect on them, feel misplaced anger, and ponder over memories to help remember good things.

When feeling down one may feel a need to laugh and make jokes about the bad or good situations that are happening. In this case the men joke about the deaths of other soldiers. For Instance, Curt Lemon’s died by a tossing a smoke grenade with Rat Kiley, the shade of some trees and stepped into the sunlight and onto a rigged mortar round. “I remember pieces of skin and something wet and yellow that must’ve been the intestines. The gore was horrible and stays with me. But what wakes me up twenty years later is Dave Jensen singing “Lemon Tree” as we threw down the pars”(83). Regardless how anyone died making jokes is one action to keep these men entertained. Instead of looking at the reality of death itself, little comments were made by the soldiers to how it was caused. Kiowa made a comment how Ted Lavender died “he was zapped while zipping“. “They used a hard vocabulary to contain the terrible softness. Greased they’d say.

Offed, lit up zapped while. It wasn’t cruelty, just stage presence. They were actors. When someone died, It wasn’t quite dying because in a curious way it seemed scripted, and because they had their lines mostly memorized, irony mixed with tragedy, and because they called it by other names, as if to encyst and destroy the reality of death itself. They kicked corpses. They cut off thumbs. They talked grunt lingo”(20). Humor may be the only emotion to be used as a comfort to the soldiers aside from killing. The men wore a disguise, like a mask to cover feelings of calmness that wouldn’t be shown. These mask‘s are not real just more of a barrier to keep there feelings from being expressed. In the same way, Azar...

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Uploaded by:   HulaChick

Date:   10/06/2005

Category:   Soldiers

Length:   5 pages (1,165 words)

Views:   18127

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