The book “The Things They Carried” is a story that revolves around the life of a group navy men who were in the line of duty. Led by Jimmy Cross, the troopers carry various objects with them including these that were relevant to the mission and those that have been meant for personal satisfaction. The author describes the story in his point of view too and thus eases the transition from fiction to non-fiction writing. In the first story the “The things they carried, the author describes the quite a number material that the army men had with them. In the 2d story titled “Love,” the author describes the love story between a soldier and a woman who never cherished him back. The “spin” describes various intertwined stories and memories that are associated with particular characters and that are relevant to the story.
In the assessment of the themes described in the novel, the reader gets a bigger picture of what it means to live the life of being a military man. The greatest issue that is apparent is the love that Jimmy Cross had for the woman Martha. It appears that contrary to expectation, soldiers also have feelings and a sense of affection and sometimes they are unable to have the fun that other people have. I was particularly moved by the scene where Cross was mixed between hating and loving, and it described the situation that many people find themselves when they are in love with someone who does not love them back. The author writes “Virginity was no longer an issue. He hated her. Yes, he did. He hated her. Love, too, but it was hard, hating kind of love” (Brien 23). I believe that the subject of the complexity of love remains among the primary motivations for the author to write the story of the experiences that sliders have at war. In the end, the reader gets the moral that it is important to love soldiers back because they are humans as we are and they have feelings that complement the ones that we experience.
The author also focuses the story on the idea of carrying stuff that are appropriate and that the platoon of soldiers have to move along in the process of executing a mission. Interestingly, the type of objects that the soldiers carry in this case include those that are both appropriate for the mission as well as those that could be perceived as personal belongings. For example, Cross carried the picture of Martha and a letter that was sealed in an envelope. They also carried along with them intangible effects such as diseases, feeling, fear, and many other issues. The author states, “They took up what other could no longer bear. Often, they carried chess sets, basketballs, Vietnamese-English dictionaries, insignias of rank, Bronze Stars and Purple Hearts, plastic cards imprinted with the Code of Conduct” (Brien 14). I was, however, moved by the effect that some had carried along with them fear because as expected, odd characters would exist in a group setting. For Ted Lavender, it is described that the character carried along fear and was particularly so scared that he carried tranquilizers. As expected, the fear got him killed but the moral is that not all soldiers in the battlefield are courageous to make it to the end because, for some, their esteem and motivation is the greatest obstacle. It implies that in a war setting, the soldiers are often unsure about what they need and they tend to be involved in carrying material and immaterial objects as seen with many of the soldiers.
The last relevant subject that is worth highlighting from the story is the concept of life, death, and separation that is associated with war. At war, there are episodes when the troops have to endure losses when their men are killed. The case is not different in the novels as the author presents a case where Cross does not forgive himself for Lander’s death. The reader is also presented with an emotional scene where the soldiers had to accept the disappointment of having to separate with an old man they met at the war. “The author states, It was a sad scene when the choppers came to take us away” (Brien 32). I believe that these episodes serve as a reminder of the weight of human life and vulnerability nature of human connections. After reading this, I decided that I will love and appreciate everyone for as long as time allows because one may never know that they may have to live without the person they are close to.
Overall, I believe that the novel is written in the manner in which the author places himself in the scene to create a more vivid experience of what transpires at the war zone. As humans, soldiers also have to juggle between love and they could become emotional when they have to leave others behind. After reading the novel, I vowed to be more appreciative of the role that soldiers play because they sometimes face worse challenges than normal citizens experience.
Brien, Tim O’. The Things They Carried. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1990. Print.