The Things They Carried

What new insights do we get about the relationships between the men in Alpha Company?

The things they carried page 180 The Ghost Soldiers

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The story also illustrates one of the central themes of the book, that no matter how terrible war may be, it provides something wonderful: camaraderie. The book has a philosophical streak; O’Brien weighs abstract questions such as the absolute moral justifications for going to war. The narrator is too much of a dualist in his philosophical outlook to see only the negative points of the war. He observes that the men help each other through with humor and with medical aid. But “The Ghost Soldiers” shows the dark underbelly of this camaraderie: what happens when someone (Jorgenson) fails in his duty to the group. The relationships among soldiers are a social contract, which can be broken.