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The Burden in The Things They Carried by O’Brien

The Burden in The Things They Carried by O’Brien

In “The Things They Carried,” O’Brien made reference to the Vietnam war that was closely associated with the physical, psychological, and emotional weight the soldiers beared. The overall method of presentation of this story incorporated many different outlooks on the things the soldiers carried, dealt with, and were forced to adapt to. In addition to this, O’Brien showed us the many reasons why and how the soldiers posessed these things individually and collectively and how they were associated directly and indirectly. The strong historical content in “The Things They Carried” helped emphasize the focus of the story and establish a clearer understanding of details in the narrative and moods of the war itself. From this, we are able to draw conclusions and assumptions to the events as it relates to the Vietnam war. Three areas that “The Things They Carried” established and elaborated were the youthfulness of the Vietnam soldiers, their language and thought patterns, and the actual tangible and intangible things they carried.

During Vietnam, soldiers were selected to be bought in to fight by draft. Many families lost their youth through this process that would immediately force young boys to leave home and train for war. I found an intriguing website that will tell you according to your birthdate, if you would or would not have been drafted during that time period. (Go) In O’Brien’s narrative, he portrays the soldiers as being young. In the opening of the story, we immediately see a young man, First Lieutenant Jimmy Cross, who is deeply in love with a college girl. On page 13, we find out that he is only twenty-four. Throughout the story we find many hin…

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…page 15, O’Brien describes that the men carried the whole atmosphere. On page 15, we are made aware that they carried diseases, parasites, infections and many other ailments. Page 15 elaborates on how the soldiers carried the land itself. They carried ghosts, their lives, eachother, pressures, and often the burden of just being alive as explained on page 19.

“The Things They Carried” helped recognize particular aspects of the war as it associated with the soldiers and their lives individually and collectively. Through his story, O’Brien described the overall mood of the war and the soldiers involved. “The Things They Carried” posed many aspects and angles of the burdens the soldiers packed during throughout the war as well as the emotional stress that was associated along with it.

O?Brien, Tim. The Things They Carried. NY: Broadway Books, 1998.

Formal Analysis of Galatea 2.2

Formal Analysis of Galatea 2.2

The novel became important in 19th century as the middle-class became more educated and desired entertainment. With the coming of 20th century and its sophisticated technologies, the form of the novel expanded to include science fiction: a genre that combines mankind’s awe of new technology and the age-old attribute of fantasy. Writers of science fiction found it necessary to employ the traditional style of the novel in their modern works. This is one of the main points in Richard Powers’ “Galatea 2.2”. He combines realism of the traditional English novel with fantasy of the future world.

“Galatea 2.2″’s fantastic is not a concrete one: the fictional plan appears here to be natural. As an autobiographical novel, the narrative represents the point of view of the narrator who always speaks in first person. He seems to be objective toward himself, and also toward the society that he enters. Through his words, the narration goes fluidly from past to present, but it is actually in the future. It is implementation that almost always makes connections with Powers’ past: C. It is also implementation that makes him look to the future. But this is just one level of the narrative: the near future level. This plan has a limited space and time. Its place is the Center in U., and rarely is it passing these boundaries. Its time is also limited: one year, until the Ph.D. test. While one is reading, there is always a feeling of time’s pressure. The second level of the novel, C., is one of love and memory. Here the time seems to be mythic, and space is the world: U. and B. in the States; E. in the Netherlands, etc. The narrator explores both plans with the same close attention, details and intensity. The…

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…-last words: ‘Don’t stay away too long.’” (329) Also he paraphrases and cites the most significant novels, plays and poems of the past like “Pygmalion”, “Tempest”, “Don Quixote”, “Frankenstein”, “Paradise Lost”, etc. Each of these connections bring a symbolic texture to the entire work.

So who was the center of the plot: Powers, AI or C.? Who ultimately won? And where are the infamous “last-words”? This novel in its ambiguity and realism, leaves us with a sense that this story will go on and in some strange way we want to be a part of it. It takes us from a past real world to the fiction of the future where “The brain is wider than the sky” and “deeper than the sea” (Epigraph); and fact and fiction “differ […]/ As syllable from sound.” (Epigraph, 11-12).

Work Cited

Powers, Richard. Galatea 2.2. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. 1996

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