He mentions the tangible items the soldiers brought such as pictures, medicine, bibles, and other tangible sentimental items. O Brine spends the rest of the book writing about the non-tangible items that they carried such as, love, fright, cautiousness, and their dreams. The whole entire book is written off what they carried, each characters actions were explained by what they carried such as Lieutenant Cross who carried a picture of his lover Martha who he thought about every day in order to get through the war. Also Kiowa who carried a bible and distrust for a white man.
Ted Lavender carried tranquilizer to stay calm and ended up getting shot cause of them. Timmy carried his lost love for Linda and carried his dreams about her to make it through the war. Sure, the weapons they were carrying where heavy but what Tim O’Brien is saying through this book is that what we carry in our mind and hearts is far heftier than what we are carrying on our backs. Throughout this novel Tim O Brine writes many shorts stories about his character and the other ones around him. These stories have all affected me and helped me gain insight and respect for the veterans that fought in the Vietnam War.
One of the stories that found most powerful was the story bout Timmy when he was younger and met a lost lover with the name of Linda. He starts out the story by talking to Kiowa about a dead soldier that his friends advised him to shake hands with but he decides not to. Tim begins his story by saying the body reminds him of Linda. Linda was a nine year old girl that he took out and developed a love for she was notorious for wearing a red cap on her head. She was made fun of for it and Timmy never had the courage to stand up to a boy named Nick Ivanhoe who took off her hat revealing her scalp that was balding because of cancer.
Shortly the girl dies ND he decides to go see her dead body in order to see her one last time. Tim describes her in the same way he describes the soldier he later sees in Vietnam, with the same colorless skin pigment and puffiness. He makes his point that all the bodies that are lying around were nothing and the only thing he could love was the soul and that is why he refuses to shake hands with the body of the soldier they find. This soul he talks about is exactly what Tim carries throughout the book by dreaming of Linda almost as if he was making her alive again in his sleep.
One of the heaviest things any soldier could carry as the lives of the dead, and that’s why this passage gives me the greatest amount of respect to the soldiers. Another one of Tim O’Brien stories he tells us is about his escape to Canada in order to run away from his draft into the war. He quotes, Your 21 years old, you’re scared, and there’s a squeezing pressure in your chest. What do you do(Beriberi). Personally, if were put in Times place would not have gone. If I did not believe that a war was entirely necessary and I was only twenty one years old and was being pressured into going into a war I would choose what I thought was right.
No one should be reassured into going somewhere they could possibly die in, especially if they do not believe in the cause. One of the only reasons he did not go was because he was scared to be called a coward. Never once in this book did Tim O’Brien say that he entirely agreed with fighting this war but only to protect his people. As for myself I would not go into the war because I did not think that this war was completely necessary. They say this war was started to protect the Ignited States from communism as well has other countries, but it has only killed Americans and has caused destruction in Vietnam.
Therefore, if I was in the same position as Tim O’Brien I would have stayed out of the War. In this book many characters Were mentioned some of my favorites were Kiowa, Lieutenant Cross, and Rat Killed. Kiowa was an Indian-American who was a devout Baptist who carried a New Testament. Another thing he carried was his distrust of a white man passed down from his grandmother and a hunting hatchet from his grandfather. In this book Kiowa is one of the friendliest in my opinion and his distrust of a white man slowly diminishes throughout this book through the friendship he gains throughout the book. E chapter Church, Kiowa explains how he wants to stay there at the pagoda they take refuge in as a monk, this shows his longing for peace through spirituality. Kiowa even shows respect by convincing the troops to leave a church peaceful. He also dies by drowning in the earth they camped on. Lieutenant Cross came to the war carrying a picture of the girl he fantasized about throughout the story named Martha. He becomes so obsessed with her that he can no longer concentrate on the war itself and he eventually leads his group to camp out in poor land that was known as the town latrine using the death of Kiowa.