Tim O’Brien’s story, “The Things We Carrried” is very sad in a way. The Vietnam War used young men to go into war. None of them were mature enough to handle the emotional scars this war would leave. In my research I read that Tim O’Brien did an interview where he tells  that he was an actual soldier in the Vietnam War. He stated that, “we all carry physical burdens and spiritual and mental ones, and he wanted to convey that in this story.

O’Briens use of tangible and intangible things was interesting.  All the soldiers were carrying their own burdens , aside from the physical load that all soldiers must carry to survive. each soldiers carry was unique to him, just as his mental burdens were personal to himself also.

I liked that O’Brien used lots of juxtapositions. It made the story better. It was easy to see things as a reader from the writers point of view. One example of O’Briens use of a juxtaposition was, the soldier Kiowa. He carried a bible but also carried his grandfathers old hatchet. the Bible representing a symbol of peace and love and the hatchet was a weapon that was a symbol of violence. These items were tangible. Kiowa also carried something intangible, which was his distrust of the white man.

Overall, I thought this story was interesting.


Renee Mans.