The terror, love, longing- these were intangibles, but

The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien is a incredible war story about personal items a unit of soldiers carried with them in the Vietnam. It revolves around the deaths of platoon members losing their lives one by one in the hardship of Vietnam. But Tim O’Brien drops clues, and unravels the hidden meaning of things. He portrays that the soldiers carry more than just the weapons they were given. They carry emotional baggage, the death of their friends, and sentimental objects from back home. The pain and gruesome emotion struggle they have to endure is only bearable with the thought of making it back home, the symbolism of hope that the items and beauty of war represent.In  “The Things They Carried” Tim O’Brien describes the emotional stuggle each soilder has and  is the by far the most difficult weight they have to bear O’Brien gives great insight of the internal struggle, and emotional brokenness that is piled down of the Lieutenant and each of the soldiers. With the prolonging risk they take with each step  in Vietnam, the psychological weight each man worries about is a growing concern.. “Grief, terror, love, longing- these were intangibles, but the intangibles had their own mass and specific gravity, they had tangible weight” (The Things They Carried 9) But that is only a brief insight of their minds that have been disturbed due to the war. Sanders is  the soldier who cuts the thumb off of a young Vietcong and gives it to another  soldier, Norman Bowker (Speaking Of Courage O’Brien 142). The demonstration of removing a young man’s thumb and after that kicking him in the head shows that Sanders is battling with some emotional instability, and a lack of respect for life.These issues might be caused by the war, and having to deal with a mix of emotions suffocating you. But even after artillery fire and gunshots whizzing past them, and crackling through the air, some of the pressure of the war is lifted from their shoulders,but the emotional scars will remain.In the unforgivable wilderness  of Vietnam,the  young soldiers are forced to carry heavy gear,ratios,ammunition and supplies. Still stunned and exhausted by the heat of the war, the soldiers carry with them pictures,letters and other significant objects to remind them of what they are fighting for and the people back home.These things can  weigh up to 40 pounds and put a strong physical strain on the soldiers. .Time O’Brien give details to the  supplies and utilities that the soldiers must carry and gives examples of the personal things each soldier chooses “to hump,” which means “to march” or “to walk” (Speaking of Courage 137). He implys alot of emotional baggage carried by Cross’ men and foreshawdows them slowly reaching the edge of breaking, but most importantly each of the soldiers carried with them something from home. Anoter one of the soidlers, Dave Jensen, carries extra socks,high carotene vitamins, foot powder,and ear plugs, has a fear for disease and is very hygienic. Mitchell Sanders carries condoms, which doesn’t make sense besides him expecting to get laid.. Also Kiowa bring with him a Bible which is the Old Testament, which was given to him by his father (The Things They Carried O’Brien 22). .Cross brings with himphotographs and letters, some waiting to be deliverd to the family of some of his fallen allies, and a “simple pebble, an ounce at most,”  given to him by a girl named Martha, who happens to be his crush. (The Things They Carried 12). These emotional and physical items imply  that each soldier has something to represent who they are. And this could help them to not get lost in the war. Having something to remind them who they are so they don’t go off the rails.The emotional hardship each soldier carries is unbearable, but you need to keep your focus, because it’s war you could die at any moment. But the effects of these mental battles is shown by Lieutenant Cross’s failure to stay concentrated and therefore he gets distracted by fantasies about Marth He gets himself unable to concentrate on the  dangers around him, for example even as Lee Strunk is looking through the passages in Than Khe,Crawling on his hands and needs, through a tunnel that could have death waiting around the croner.As hes doing this  lieutenant Cross loses himself in a daydream.  Then on the way back Lavender gets shot, and yet all Cross can think about is Martha. This just shows how normal it is for someone to die in war because he isn’t even fazed by that tradiety. Implying that he’s already carrying the burden of multiple deaths on his hand so grieving for antoherone would be pointless.Through a war there will be a lot of bloodshed, some of it being the enemies, and some of it even being yours. With all the gunfire and shots being fired, people dropping you have no time for grievance. But after a while when  one one by one your friends die, the burden of living with that, the doubt of if you could of saved him or not. All of that starts to pile up and slowly unravel you. In The Things They Carried many people had to watch as their friends died, with Curt Lemon being the first. Trying to make some sense of the war or relieving the tension Kurt started playing toss with a smoke grenade with Rat Kiley. Then he stepped on a landmine and blew up. And after seeing so much death you become numb and feel no agony, you slowly start to lose it.  Jensen and O’Brien were ordered to climb the tree to retrieve Lemon’s body, and Jensen sang “Lemon Tree” as they threw down the body parts.(182 “How to Tell a True War Story”) The fact that a friend dying out of nowhere doesn’t cause tears, doesn’t cause concern shows how war breaks you. When someone you know dying isn’t a big deal because people die everyday, you start to cope with it in different ways. In this case jenson started singing as he picked up his friend’s body parts. And after that Ted Lavender was the second body to hit the floor. Ted lavender just went out to take a piss and then a crack ripped through the air, his friends watching him drop, lying in a pool of blood. This causes Jimmy cross to start  blaming himself for his death. “He had loved Martha more than his men, and as a consequence Lavender was now dead, and this was something he would have to carry like a stone in his stomach for the rest of the war”. (The Things They Carried.16) This haunts Jimmy Cross through the book. All of these characters are haunted by guilt, looking for someone or something to blame.  They are shattered into pieces scattered across the battlefield. Cracking jokes about the death of comrades, trying to cope, or find meaning in the death of the war. When you hear of war stories you never hear of the death, or the excruciating toll it has on your mind and your body. The guilt, emotional baggage and simple watching as your friends drop one by one can break a man. All of this stuff piled on causes  you to lose yourself, act like someone your not. You cling on to anything so that you don’t lose it, or fall down into the black. Just how each soldier brought something with them, carried it wherever they went. They carried the objects from home , but they also carried the weight of the war on their soldiers.