The Things They Carried
Social Burdens, Individual Men: The Draft, Drug Use, and PTSD in The Things They Carried College
Watching friends die, being shot at, and dealing with the fact that death is looming around every is a reality for soldiers regardless of what side they are fighting on. Vietnam was an extremally controversial war, and much of the nation was opposed to the United States getting involved in the first place. Many veterans of the Vietnam war suffer from PTSD because of how brutal the war was, and since many people fighting in it were drafted into it. In “The Things They Carried” written by Tim O'Brien reader are given insight into the lives of soldiers fighting in the Vietnam war. Many of the characters from “The Things They Carried” struggled to come to grips with the reality they were in, instead imagined fantasy scenarios, such as the companies Lieutenant Jimmy Cross who is constantly fantasizing about a girl named Martha back home. Jimmy Cross’s infatuation with Martha causes him to neglect his men and as a result while walking back to camp Ted Lavender is shot and killed instantly, some of his fellow soldiers watch this unfold (O’Brien 482-495). Knowing what these soldiers are thinking about, or even what they carry with them physically like drug to maintain an addiction or something mental like a distrust of white men...
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