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DHSAP: The Things They Carried - Guilt and Despair
Transcript of DHSAP: The Things They Carried - Guilt and Despair
A Prezi By Bryan Villanda
In the novel, The Things They Carried, Tim O'Brien emphasizes the theme of guilt and despair by utilizing anecdotes, flashbacks, and foreshadows. He reveals the true effects of war brought upon him and the soldiers through indirect and direct characterization.
"At one point, I remember, we paused over a snapshot of Ted Lavender, and after a while Jimmy rubbed his eyes and said he'd never forgiven himself for Lavender's death. It was something that would never go away..." Pg. 26
It is forshadowed in the story that Ted Lavender is killed. Throughout the story, Lt. Jimmy Cross is always blaming himself for the death of Lavender. When a fellow soldier dies there usually is no one to blame because it just occurs. However, soldiers, like Lt. Jimmy Cross feel as if they could have altered that outcome. They all feel guilty for the loss of Lavender but in reality nothing could have been done.
"I feel guilty sometimes.....I guess she's right: I should forget it. But the thing about remember is that you don't forget." Pg.33
The author himself, even after many years after the war, still feels guilty for the loss of a fellow soldier who drowned in mud. Events and thoughts stay within the minds of the veterans and always comes back to haunt them. They are still able to replay the entire event as if it just occurred. Certain events traumatize the soldiers and it eventually leads to mental and emotional breakdowns.
"He was a slim, dead, almost dainty young man of about twenty. He lay one leg bent beneath him, his jaw in his throat, his neither expressive nor inexpressive. One eye shut. The other was a star-shaped hole" Pg. 124
O'Brien constantly repeats the complexion of the young man as if the scene will never change. O'Brien is obviously traumatized by his first kill and feels guilty with the fact that the young man could have possibly lived a better life if were not for him. He contemplates the different ways the young man could have lived his life or how he could have met the young man however that will never occur now that the young man is dead.
"All i could do was gape at the fact of the young man's body....Sometimes I forgive myself, other times I don't" Pg. 128
O'Brien's first kill will always replay in his mind. It will never leave his mind and it will affect him everytime he thinks about it. Just like with every person, there will always be a certain event that will change their lives for the good or bad. Sadly, most soldiers experience things and it turns their minds completely around thus changing them as a person completely.
The war began in the year 1959 and ended on the year 1975. The war was between the United States and the communist run government. The point of the war was to halt the spread of communism throughout Vietnam and the rest of Asia. The war was being watched and followed by many as there were journalists filming the war itself. It revealed the gruesome and terrifying realities of war.
www.google.com (google images - vietnam war)