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Things They Carried

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Talking of war is something that many people do not want to here but when it comes, it strikes with no discrimination. It does not want to know you have been wishing for peace, everyone in this situation is a victim directly involved in the war front or indirectly trying to hide from its disastrous consequences. The Vietnam War was and is still one of the most memorable in the history of humankind. As portrayed by Tim O’Brien in his story the things they carried we are left to sympathize for him and how he managed to survive the most horrific, and heartbreaking war like that (Bloom, 2005).

Technologically advanced weapons were used mainly in the battlefield but it was a difficult war since you could not easily identify who the enemy was. It was an internal as well as external war and the soldiers had a rough time not knowing where to hide or who to hide from. Before the war most people prayed that war should not occur but it was sneering right in their faces for it came when they least expected it. There was change of events for now everyone had to protect himself, this was a guerrilla war. The conflicts arose between the soldiers and the civilians and guess what, the civilians were the ones loosing and being killed because of lack of skills and the same time they had no medicine to treat themselves.

For survival, anything that one deem useful was carried. The weapons used were: rifles, grenades, AK-47, machine guns, and helicopters patrol the field in an attempt to uncover the enemies. While the civilians had crude weapons and other homemade materials. In addition the soldiers had to fight the war with all sorts of stuff, for instance Dave Jensen carried a rabbit’s foot while his close friend Jimmy Cross had a small pebble from her girlfriend Martha, this were charms for protection and symbols of courage. They carried the feelings, the pressure from the generals, the environment in which they were and more so their lives and the lives of their loved ones. There was no hope for life so everyone was certain of death.

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Tim O’Brien had conflicting ideas on whether to go to the war or just stay behind. His conscience overcame his physical feelings and to proof before his father and uncle that he was actually courageous, and fearless he proceeded to join the army and into the battlefield. This was also a complication since going to the war was actually going to die; if you down go down by the bullet definitely, you would not miss an infection. Soldier also had their own complications in the battlefield where the generals command the juniors and when they disobey them, they will be killed instantaneously. Therefore, despite fighting the enemies, they had their own differences in the camps and that is why Tim described war as hell (Bloom, 2005).

Decision-making was also the other complication which lingered in Tim’s mind, incase your friend was injured and unable to proceed you were required to kill him/her. This was a big complication fro no matter how much you tried it was a rule and has to be done fast before the enemy gets hold of you or the injured victim. Critical thinking was required of everyone to come up with a quick and useful conclusion, for during wars there is no time for second thoughts or negotiations it’s either you kill or you are killed.

In every society, each day has its on changes and new inventions are developed the old ones being discarded. In Vietnam, the social structure was the most affected of all factors. Diseases became rampant killing a larger population due to lack of medical care. The society was characterized by stress, depression, and low self-esteem. The economic factors were the other change. Much recourse were used during the war rendering so many people poor and due to the fact that those who survive the war were either injured and were physically impaired or too weak to carry out any duty. The infrastructure was greatly damaged hence reduced the general economic growth of the country. After the war, everyone talks in low tones about the devastating and disastrous effects caused by wars. In addition, it is actually true that in “war morals are not morals” (Bloom, 2005).

The changes were significant to Tim O’Brien because it brought peace and togetherness. Everyone was suffering and it was through the combined efforts and encouragement that they managed to come to terms with what had happen, help each other and build new lives once more. Lack of resources made some enemies to withdraw and be overpowered hence leading to the end of war, which had persisted for years. A new government was set up which had the responsibility of protecting the people and providing mutual support for those who were needy.     

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