Sunday, June 2, 2019
Myth of Courage Exposed in The Things They Carried Essay -- The Things
Ah for a young man all looks fine and solemn if he goes down in war, hacked to pieces under a solidusing bronze blade he lies there dead. . .but whatever death lays b be all wounds are marks of glory. (Homer 22.83-87) As students we are brainwashed by ancient myths such as The Iliad, where war is extolled and the valorous warrior praised. Yet, modern novels such as Tim OBriens The Things They Carried (THINGS) challenge those actually notions. Like The Iliad, THINGS is about war. It is about battles and soldiers, victory and survival, yet the message OBrien gives us in THINGS runs almost contradictory to the traditional war story. Whereas traditional stories of war do place on battlefields where soldier battles soldier and the mettle of man is tested, OBriens battle occurs in the shadowy, private place of a soldiers mind. Like the Vietnam struggle itself, THINGS forces Americans to question the shewations of their beliefs and determine because it calls attention to the inner c onscience. More than a war story, OBriens The Things They Carried is an expose on personal courage. Gone are the brave and glorious warriors such as those found in the battle of Troy. In THINGS, they are replaced by young men who experience not glory or bravery, but fear, horror, and a personal soul of shame. As mythic courage clashes with the moderns experience of it, a battle is waged in THINGS that isnt confined to the rice-patties, jungles, and shit-fields of Vietnam. Carrying more than the typical soldiers wares, OBriens narrator is armed with an arsenal of feelings and words that slash away at an invisible enemy that is the myth of courage, on an invisible battlefield that is the Vietnam veterans mind. An analysis of structure in ... ...ings They Carried. Studies in Contemporary Fiction. 35.1 (1993) 43. Expanded faculty member ASAP. Lopez, Ken. Tim OBrien An Introduction to His Writing. Ken Lopez - Bookseller. 1997. 8 Oct 1999. http//www.lopezbooks.com/articles/obrien.html . Works Consulted Chen, Tina. Unraveling the Deeper Meaning Exile and the Embodied Poetics of Displacement in Tim OBriens The Things They Carried. Contemporary Literature. 39.1 (1998) 77. Expanded Academic ASAP. King, Rosemary. OBriens How to Tell a True War Story. The Explicator. 57.3 (1999) 182. Expanded Academic ASAP. Passaro, Vince. The Things They Carried (Review). Harpers Magazine. 299.1791 (1999) 80. Expanded Academic ASAP. Robinson, Daniel. Getting It Right The Short Fiction of Tim OBrien. Studies in Contemporary Fiction. 40.3 (1999) 257. Expanded Academic ASAP.