The Things They Carried by Tim O Brian

Topics: Vietnam War, Vietnam, Conscription in the United States Pages: 2 (791 words) Published: October 14, 2012
PHI 101
September 3, 2012

Journal 1
This week our assignment was to read some fictional literature called “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien. At first I thought this was going to be another boring assignment for another class but this book caught my interest quickly because even though it was considered fictional Tim O’Brien really did go to war; the Vietnam War to be more specific and he told his stories od what it was like to be drafted and all the horrific processes of being a young man in a strange country fighting for a cause he did not agree with and had little understanding of. In Module one we answered several questions about particular chapters but one of the chapters that probably hit me the hardest was “How to Tell A True War Story” (O’Brien, 74-76). In this portion of the story Rat Kiley and Kurt Lemon are two friends who were playing catch in the hopes to get some quick smiles and laughs in the middle of all this turmoil called Vietnam. Curt wasn’t paying attention to where he was walking and he stepped on a booby-trapped 105 round. He was dead instantly. In Rat Kiley’s anger he picked this harmless animal to mutilate senselessly. It was a senseless act because slaughtering this buffalo wasn’t going to bring back his friend. “A true war story, if truly told, makes the stomach believe”. It did just that reading the detailed account of how Rat shot this animal piece by piece in his anger. He didn’t shoot it in the heart so that it would die instantly he took his time and that’s what made it so true and gruesome. How we as humans can seem too strong and tough but when we love we love hard and all rational goes out the window. We also discussed in module one about “On The Rainy River” (O’Brien 37-58). How Tim had to make a decision on whether or not he was going to serve in this war because he received a draft notice. During the 1960’s a draft meant you had no choice you were mandated to participate whether you wanted to or not. He wanted...
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