The Things They Carried

what role does language play with regard to the interaction between soldiers in vietnam?

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O'Brien highlights how the soldiers' vocabulary adapts to the harsh situation of war. Through the violence and death of war the soldiers adapt their harsh vocabulary to contain a gentleness, “They used a hard vocabulary to contain the terrible softness.”THe soldiers need to express their love for each other. These explosive situations lead to the most intimate of relationships with each other. THey often use half-joking metaphors like "kick the bucket" to lessen the pain.