Get help from the best in academic writing.

Things They Carried Essay: Disembodiment

Disembodiment in The Things They Carried

With some knowledge of war, one can begin to appreciate Tim O’ Brien’s The Things They Carried. But when the work is viewed in its strict historical context, another layer of meaning rises to the surface. Tim O’ Brien is a veteran; as a result there are many things he takes for granted (or so we think) and does not tell us. America’s involvement in the Vietnam war resulted from internal domestic politics rather than from the national spirit. American soldiers had to fight a war without a cause, i.e. they were disembodied from the war. But O’ Brien never tells us this explicitly. When Viewed from a historical perspective, The Things They Carried contains several syntactic allusions to the idea of disembodiment from the war.

One of the more obvious allusions is “The Ghost Soldiers.” The very title seems to suggest disembodiment – as though something were present, yet nothing at all. Whenever O’ Brien is bleeding to death in the field, he says that he feels “hollow.” (O’ Brien, 238) Is it from blood loss or from the …

Essay on Faith in Hawthorne’s Young Goodman Brown

Faith in Young Goodman Brown

For those who have not studied the Puritans or their beliefs, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown” is not much more than a story of lost (or maybe just confused) faith. Hawthone, a man of puritan descent, had some oppositions to the ideals that Puritans followed. Some of these ideals are discussed in his “Young Goodman Brown”.

The basic impression that most people have of Puritans “describes them as dour, irascible, self-righteous, hypocritical people who hated sex, joy, and life. They dressed in black, they hated nature, they burned witches, and they repressed all natural desires,”. This is the view that influences most people when Puritans appear in literature. We see the stereotypical hatred of the forest (the Devil’s playground), the fear of Indians (the Devil’s spawn) and the extreme fear of the Devil himself run rampant in “Young Goodman Brown”. Hawthorne’s description of the forest is very disheartening. “He had taken a dreary road, darkened by all the gloomiest trees of the forest…” (p 375) This is a rather depressing and f…

… middle of paper …

… not be so blindly relied upon. However, after a bit more delving, that the story speaks not only of faith and it’s hazards, but of the flaws in the puritan system.

1.) Roberts, Trish. Background to the American Puritans. (accessed 2-1-02)

2.) Hawthorne, Nathaniel. “Young Goodman Brown”. printed in: A Handbook of Critical Approaches to Literature: Fourth Edition. Editors Wilfred L. Guerin, Earle Labor, Lee Morgan, Jeanne C. Reesman, John R. Willingham. Oxford University Press, Oxford. 1999.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.