The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien Essay

The Red Badge of Courage. by Stephen Crane. and The Things They Carried. by Tim O’Brien. are two novels set a century apart. yet they both connect to one another. Tim O’Brien’s novel illustrates his experience in the Vietnam War. while Stephen Crane’s novel demonstrates his experience in the Civil War. These two novels focus on the image one gives himself while traveling into the war and image one gets traveling out of it. whether one makes it out alive or gets consumed by it.

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In these two novels the construct of being a “coward” made a large factor in the manner they say themselves. Both Henry Fleming from. The Red Badge of Courage. and Tim O’Brien from The Things They Carried. had a different ground for sing themselves a coward. Tim O’Brien was drafted to the Vietnam War. a war which he didn’t believe in. nor wanted to take part. He left everything behind and was on the brink of flying to Canada. He didn’t want to lose everything behind. his household. his friends. and his place.

Tim wanted to be brave. go forth everything and flee so he wouldn’t take part in the war. but that wasn’t the instance. “I would travel to the war—I would kill and possibly die—because I was embarrassed non to. ” It wasn’t fright or morality that Tim had. he merely couldn’t leave everything buttocks and flee. “I was a coward. I went to war. ” In Henry’s instance. he enlisted to the war. He wanted to be hero in this war. like he had ever imagined. Soon he realized that all he was. was a pawn on a cheat board. He was a mere soldier. Once things got tough in the 2nd conflict he was in. he fled. Henry couldn’t get the image of himself as a coward. All he was was a coward. for flying.

Henry had all this guilt inside him. for flying and lying about a bogus conflict panic he had got. When he eventually regrouped with his squad they encountered a little conflict. Trying to force back the enemy. soldier after soldier kept firing their rifle including Henry. Henry had got consumed into the conflict. recharging so firing. He repeated this even when the enemy had already fled. “He lost sense of everything but his hatred. his desire to nail into mush the glistening smiling of triumph which he could experience upon the faces of his enemies. ” Henry was consumed in the minute of conflict. hiting thirstily at his enemies. After this little conflict. the lieutenant called him a “war Satan. ”

While in the other novel. Mary Anne. a 17 twelvemonth old miss. was brought into the war zone. She stayed with her fellow Mark Fossie. She would roll around the forests. fascinated by the nature. Over clip she wasn’t even recognizable. with her necklace of human lingua. She was no longer that guiltless miss that had foremost came to the war. “She had crossed to the other side. She was portion of the land. ” There are different ways for which 1 could acquire consumed by war. For Mary Anne. she became one with the land.

There are things and feeling that go on though war. that one would merely travel through or experience in war. Both Henry and Tim witnessed deceases throughout the novel. whether they knew the individual or non. War truly changes a individual. mentally and physically. One would travel into war with a clear image of himself and come out of the war with another.

These two novels demonstrate how war changes the image you give yourself. whether you get consumed by war or do it out alive. Both Henry Fleming and Tim O’Brien had to travel through obstructions. altering the manner they see themselves and the manner others see them. These novels may be set a century apart. but they connect in so many ways.


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