Effects of War on the Mind and Body

Topics: Vietnam War, Army, Vietnam Pages: 4 (1479 words) Published: May 9, 2013
The Effects of War on the Mind and Body
All around a person can easily hear or read a story about a soldier of war and how that person is forever scared mentally or physically, by the things he or she encountered or saw in their time of duty. Demonstrated in the movies all the time are veterans having flashbacks back to the war or often how a loud sound easily frightens them conveying the permanent effects of war on a person. Not only are the repercussions of war mental though; physical effects are very likely also, such as an amputated limb, foot or hand. In the novel “The Things They Carried,” the effects that a war has on a person mentally and physically are greatly demonstrated though the true instances of the characters during and after the Vietnam War.

In the novel “The Things They Carried” there of course are many situations where men in the platoon are killed by enemy fire or from landmines; but obviously death does not take a toll on that person mentally or physically because they are simply lost souls. However, for the other men in the platoon it takes a heavy toll on the men. For instance, when the platoon was underneath the canopies of the trees taking a break from humping in the middle of the jungle and Curt Lemon and Rat Kiley began goofing off with a smoke bomb. The platoon was not under fire or in any threat at the time but for a mere moment Lemon and Kiley let their guard down which in return caused a lost soul. O’Brien himself was a ways away watching the two goofing around with the smoke bomb while he watch Lemon step into the sunlight which he described as his face turning suddenly brown and shinning, his sharp grey eyes, lean and narrow-waisted; then going on to say that his death was almost beautiful. Although Lemon’s death was only one of many, he cannot get the image out of his head. Stated in the text, O’Brien says that it happened nearly twenty years ago and yet he can still remember the trail junction, the giant trees, and the soft...
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