Things they carried essay examples

O’Brien blames Bobby Jorgenson , a young medic who replaced Rat Kiley with the company, for almost letting him die of shock after getting shot. In “The Ghost Soldiers,” O’Brien enlists Azar’s help to get revenge on Jorgenson. They make noises outside Jorgenson’s encampment to make him think he is being attacked. Jorgenson is terrified, but then he figures out it's just O’Brien, and the two say they are “even.” “Night Life” is the account, culled secondhand from another soldier, of how Rat Kiley went beserk and had to leave the company. The strain of the war was too much for him and he shot himself in the foot to be discharged from the army.

The character of Linda appears in the last story “The Lives of the Dead” and signifies the death and human memory. The last story of the book depicts the writer’s memories of his first love. Being at war, he thinks of his classmate Linda, with whom he once went to the cinema. He was in love with her but later discovered that she had a severe, incurable illness. After a while, Linda died, and O’Brien remembers how he went to the funeral and saw her corpse. The author thinks of this event as the first experience of death in his life and analyzes it in the context that memory is capable of giving eternal life to people who once were dear to the heart. Dead people can revive in literature and Linda’s death gives a push to O’Brien to write stories about the experience of war. The author asserts the idea that memory makes a person immortal since it allows to perpetuate his traits into various types of art. In the last novel, O’Brien summarizes that all the stories presented in the book are not about the war, but about the comprehension of life through the death of other people. Therefore, Linda symbolizes death, eternal life and the function of memory in art.

Things they carried essay examples

things they carried essay examples


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