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"The Things they Carried," by Tim O'brien - Book Report/Review Example

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The story’s event date back to 1968 when he had graduated a month earlier and received a draft notice to join in the fight in the Vietnam War. O’Brien is…
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"The Things they Carried," by Tim O'brien
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Download file to see previous pages O’Brien at first feels is positioned to join that war but cannot make the rational decision despite being in convention to the war at some points.
He therefore, feels being compelled unwisely by the community to flee to Vietnam to fight the war he believes is uncalled for. O’Brien even thought of eloping to Canada to hide, but the fear shame of losing the respect of the community and his family makes stay put. Such a deadlock is hastened by O’Brien’s imagination of the people he had heard gossiping about him in the local café. Further, the author struggles with his rage resulting from the lack of view with respect to those influencing his actions (OBrien 34). Further, we see O’Brien burst into tears while in the boat together with Elroy because he feels he should run to Canada but contradictive concluding his match to the war since he is embarrassed never to fail. The decision is never O’Brien’s but arises from the fear of shame both for the family and the community.
O’Brien’s personal experience indicates that the fear of being shamed in the presence of one’s peers is a dominant motivating factor in war. The history, ‘On the Rainy River” illustrates his moral quandary upon receiving his draft notice. O’Brien was also hesitant to fight in a war he is convinced unjust; however, he fears being perceived as a coward. Therefore, the traditional motivating factors for fighting in a war keeps him from fleeing into Canada. It is never the patriotism and decision that bars him from fleeing. The concern over what his family and community will think of him if he fails to fight is his key drivers into the war. Such an experience is emblematic of the conflict, explored throughout the ‘The Things They Carried’. The misguided anticipations of a cohort of individual significance to a character and that the uncertainty of a particular with respect to a proper course of action.
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