“Those who have had any such experience as the author will see its truthfulness at once, and to all other readers it is commended as a statements of actual things by one who experienced them to the fullest.” - John Ransom’s Andersonville Diary. With the world constantly changing, people tend to get lost, distressed, and totally confused about the curveballs and hard times in life. It could be economic struggles, emotional differences within a relationship, or in this case war. Like Tim O’Brien, the therapeutic way of dealing with the changing world is imagining things and painting a new story like how Tim did by writing The Things They Carried.
The Vietnam war was known to be the most devastating in US history due to the uncivilized and jurassic tactics that the Vietnamese used against us. Such as using children to fight for them and women. The soldiers had different forms of comfort to help them through the hard times. Some might have been imagining loved ones were there like James Cross in ‘The Things They Carried’, “Lieutenant Cross gazed at the tunnel. But she was not there. He was buried with Martha under the white sand at the Jersey shore. They were pressed together, and the pebble in his mouth was her tongue.” (pg 18 Ebook). Jimmy Cross had a long going love for this girl of his back at home. At night to escape from the living hell of the Vietnam War, he would imagine the times that him and his girl had back at home. It was almost like a therapeutic act to do it at night. It would remind him all of the good times he had and let him know that something was waiting for him at home. Martha sent him a pebble from the Jersey shore to remember her by and he had that with him at all time. He would put the stone in his mouth to synthesize Martha’s tongue. As odd as it may sound, it worked for him.
Some of the soldiers took with them sentimental items with them. Some would use it as a device of comfort. With the treturous missions came big risks, that they would not make it home alive; to be shipped back stateside in a wooden box. With the flag draped across the top. Even the biggest of warriors had their charms and sentimental pieces. “ The pantyhose, he said, had the properties of a good-luck charm. He liked putting his nose into the nylon and breathing in the scent of his girlfriend's body; he liked the memories this inspired; he sometimes slept with the stockings up against his face, the way an infant sleeps with a flannel blanket, secure and peaceful.” (pg 82 Ebook). The little things are what kept some of the soldiers sane. The stocking in this case was used as a device to cope and remember about the good times spent with the soldiers girl friend. The one that he left at home to help fight for their freedom and to help support the countries endeavors. The simplest things like the pantyhose and the stone reminded the soldiers what they were fighting for and that they had someone or something.
One can ask veterans of the Vietnam War and the majority of them would describe it as hell. Tim O’Brien the author of The Things They Carried wrote a lot about his war experiences. In one interview with a news company he said "Imagination is important in a couple of ways. One way is as a psychological means of escape. If one can lose themselves in a fantasy, then they would be no longer trapped in the horror of, say, Vietnam." Escaping while being in the Vietnam war was a huge thing. Some resulted in drug and alcohol abuse the numb the pain and horrors encountered while being there. While others used this as a time to imagine their loved ones and used certain sentimental objects to help the imagination some to life.
With the world constantly changing, people tend to get lost, distressed, and totally confused with all of the curveballs and hard times in life. It could be economic struggles, relationships with others, or in this case war. The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien holds great proof that imagination is a great use for a type of therapeutic healing.
Works Cited for Analytical Essay:
O'Brien, Tim. The Things They Carried: A Work of Fiction. New York: Broadway, 1998. Print.
Sawyer, Scott. "In the Name of Love: An Interview With Tim O'Brien." Mars Hill Review. LeaderU.com (Links to an external site.). Winter/Spring 1996. Web. October 20 2009.
Growing up as an only child is the definition of the struggle. Having no one to ever play with was the worst thing I could think of. When friends were not over, being bored was a huge problem. Boredom would result in me either getting hurt or doing something that I should not do. Imagination started to play a huge role in my childhood days.
About when I turned 4 I would believe that my cat named Bobby would drive me to Pre-School in my fathers Corvette. It had to be one of the most outrageous things, but it was definitely kept me occupied. When I told kids as school this, they were instantly amazed, except for this kid Jeremy, but he didn’t last long there after he bit my arm and I hit him. Anyways, when I would get home, I would put my cat Bobby in my huge model car. Bringing him around the house as he was deathly terrified. Its crazy to think back now that for hours on end I would do this, It would really keep me amused. I would also play Madden 03’ with my cat on my PS2. I would think that he would be playing. I would plug in the controller and put it in front of him, but majority of the time, Bobby would run away.
Also as a younger child, I had a teddy bear by the name of Teddy. How original? Right, anyways I won him at Sesame Place when I was 4 years old. Now he was not just any ordinary teddy bear, he was high quality and never ripped or was torn open. About a day after my adventures of Sesame Place, I had gotten very sick from the food there. I had Teddy with me the whole time I was in bed, out of bed running to the bathroom, and then back into bed. He was the one that was there for me the whole time. When I was 7 we had a series of bad thunderstorms during the Summer and trees were falling all over our neighborhood. I would constantly cry, but when I got teddy in my arms I would calm down. It’s as if Teddy was my coping tool with certain things in my childhood.
As time went on and I grew up, my phone turned into a huge support device and just a way to kinda almost escape. Whether it be music, facebook, instagram, something sneaker or Kanye related, or talking to someone; it is a great thing. Just listening to music for countless hours on end can help a bunch when in certain situations. Then also having the ability to contact anyone you know in the matter of seconds to talk to them about something is great as well. I remember when I was about 10 when my parents were getting divorced. There was a bunch of constant fighting back and forth with my parents. I would call my grandmother to talk to because she was the easiest person to talk to. She also helped me through a bunch of things at that time like school work and advice. I had gotten some of the best advice of my life over the phone from her. My phone lead into a different way form of comfort, one that is almost constant.