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Things They Carried Essay: The Living Dead

The Living Dead in The Things They Carried

I have done things that I am not proud of and some things that will never be mentioned in public again. In everything that I did wrong I tried to justify or make it seem to be less of a negative act. Tim O’Brien does not do this in his short story named “The Man I Killed.” O’Brien instead gives the young Vietnamese man a history, a present, and a whole life. He does this by creating an elaborate story of teenage love, family conflict, and personal pride.

O’Brien was a solider in the Vietnam War, fighting against the communism. He has wrote the book The Things They Carried, about his personal experiences as a solider. The environment that he was in was one of constant death and unending turmoil. Most of the death he writes about was concerning his fellow comrades. After seeing all this and the needless deaths of Vietnam civilians it should harden the heart of a fighting man. O’Brien seems to be different he is still powerfully effected by the gunning down of this young man, who belonged to the communist group.

The death of the Vietnamese solider lingers in O’Brien’s mind for what seemed like an eternity to him. He vividly recalls the shape of his body noticing the most minuet details. The deceased boy was considered to be a dainty young man, clean fingernails, light freckles on his forehead and a frail and fragile figure. O’Brien uses great detail in describing the body after multiple bullet wounds. He explains how the left cheek is peeled back, that the spinal cord was open through his neck, and of all things a gold ring on his right hand the third finger down.

The gold ring is the point which Tim forges a young lover for the young man. From the frail image of his body, O’Brien deems the departed as a scholar who was at school when he met his young love of seventeen years old. O’Brien considers her to have an admiration for the narrow waist and cowlick that rose on the back of his head. the young scholar was a mathematician and enjoyed school. This scholar was unable to defend himself and was constantly picked on by the school yard bullies. He would pray at night with his mother for an end of the war.

Maus and the Holocaust

The Holocaust is known to all of us in some manner. Maybe we know someone who survived this

terrible event in history, or one has learned about it in school, either way, everyone has had some kind of

knowledge about the horrible things that the Nazi party did to the European Jews during the Holocaust.

The Holocaust took a great toll on many lives in one way or another, one in particular being Vladek

Spiegleman. Vladek’s personality underwent a huge change due to his experiences during World

War II. His personality is so dynamic and it was the experiences that he made during the Holocaust that

changed him so dramamtically.

In the beginning of Maus the reader is thrown into a scenario of the Author, Art’s, many visits to his

father’s. Art and his father, Vladek starte a conversation about Vladek’s past, but Vladek is very reluctant

to discuss his past with anyone Vladek seems to be a very untrusting old man who is afraid of two major

things. The main fear Vladek has is taping into his memories only to relive the pain he suffered and

because of this Vladek has a fear of getting too close to anybody. He thinks that he will be betrayed in

the same ay that he was before by many Germans and even his own friends. The way he is so

cold-hearted to his second-wife also shows how unloving Vladek is too anybody who did not make the

same exact experiences as he did. Even to his own son, Vladek has trouble opening up about personal

memories and being loving and caring. All these bitter emotions that keep Vladek from being happy in his

old age are casued from the painful memories of the Holocaust. Vladek’s experiences during the war

caused a drama…

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especially incapable of trusting people who didn’t libe the same life, like his son. He is very cold-hearted

and sometimes even unkovinf to Art. All this being caused by Vladek’s inability to deal with the pain that

he suffered through-out his life, ie. the war, the holocaust, his wife’s suicide, and his heart disease.

Vladek has a very complex personality that evolved so muh because of the expereinces that he made

throught the Holocaust. The holocaust thought him to be unwilling to spare anything ( material things as

well as his emotions) and made him almost obsessive compulsive about wasting food or money. He has a

deep fear that everyone want to take advantage, useadn then betray him. ladek Spiegleman is a disturbed,

bitter old man who is unwilling to talk about the things that made him the way he is.

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