Angelica Owens- "The things they carried" Benchmark

Analytical Essay:

Once trust gets broken, it is hard for it to be repaired. Trusting people with too many things is where people in the society goes wrong. In the book “The things they carried”, Tim O’Brien talks about trusting people. At times, O’Brien trusted people that he originally didn’t get along with or people that he really liked. Once you learn to trust someone you will be more open to facing obstacles.

Enemies can become friends, all it takes is to think positive and learn to trust them. With Dave Jensen and Lee Strunk, this happened for their relationship. They started out as enemies but it didn’t stay like this. “They did learn to trust each other. Over the next month, they teamed up on ambushes. They covered each other on patrol, shared a fox-hole and took turns pulling guard at night (O’Brien; page 65).” At first Jensen and Strunk didn’t start off as friends but that all changed. They built a level of trust for each other that showed they could face certain obstacles together. When they were enemies without trust, they wouldn’t have done those things with each other but with trust building, they were able to take risks by doing those things for each other.

When love is a factor with someone, you trust them with a lot of things and that’s what happened with Cross and Martha. On the first page of the book, O’Brien says that “more than anything he wanted her to love him as he loved her, but the letters were mainly chatty, elusive on the matter of love.” Cross trusted Martha with things that he never did with anyone. He trusted her to love him and by trusting her to do that, he was facing obstacles. He faced the possibility of her not loving him as he wanted her to love him.

Writing things on paper can help remember the trust that was built between two people. That is what Jensen and Strunk did. On page 65, “they drew it up on paper, signing their names and asking a couple of guys to act as witnesses (O’Brien).” The trust they built was reconfirmed by writing it on paper for one another. Once they trusted each other, they wrote it down on paper so that they knew they really trusted each other. Before building trust, Jensen and Strunk wouldn’t have asked guys to act as witnesses which they took the risk of facing that obstacle.

In Tim O’Brien’s shock of being drafted, he explains how he felt and how he reacted when he heard he was drafted into the war, which wasn’t a good reaction. He stated that he pounded on the typewriter when he heard it. He also said that “It was the most terrible summer of my life, worse than being in the war. My conscience kept telling me not to go, but my whole upbringing told me I had to.”  While O’Brien was scared of being drafted, he decided to follow his mind and trust his conscience. They say follow your conscience because it will never let anyone down but in his case, he followed what he was brought up to do. That told him he had to go so he went and hoped for the best. He trusted that he would be safe. By doing that, he was open to facing more obstacles. Once he said he was going to go, there is no turning back which caused him to take risks and face every obstacle that there was so that he could get home safe.

Works Cited for Analytical Essay:

"Tim O'Brien Article #1." N.p., n.d. Web. <>.

Narrative Essay:

“Trust is like a mirror. Once it’s broken it’s never seen the same again & no matter how much you try to put it back together, the cracks will always show.” said Ms. Bickley, my 8th grade writing teacher wrote on the chalkboard

In Middle School, I had a bad tendency of trusting people and them constantly letting me down so I stopped trusting people. I realized I had to trust people because trusting is the key to everything. If someone lets you down then that’s their fault. I started the school in 6th grade but my best friends until this day Salia and Kayla started the school in 7th grade. I had a guard up and didn’t want to trust them with anything or any of my business. Eventually we had a deep conversation and I told them everything about me. All the faults I think I have and all the positive things and they disagreed. The point that I will remember most is when I came out to them about my sexuality in 8th grade, they didn’t tell a soul. They were two people that I remember when I said “keep it as a secret,” they kept it as a secret while I told other people and when I told them that they went around and told the whole grade about me. People started looking at me strange and made rumors about me at that same time but I knew then I could trust them with everything and if I told them not to tell anyone, they wouldn’t tell anyone and I can trust them.  Before this experience I had trust issues in ways but I still thought the people I called my friends would never let me down. Most of them did prove me wrong. Luckily, after this incident happened I knew who I could trust and most the people that went around school telling people were not on my list of trustworthy people. Going into Middle School as one of the only people who didn’t know anyone, I had a lot of hopes that I would be able to trust more people and it took me all of my middle school career to learn that I couldn’t trust everyone. Even when I came into High School, I still had problems with trusting the wrong people but as I started growing into my High School career, I learned once again I can’t trust everybody and how many times people let me down. Now, I am very careful in who I trust because so many people have let me down in the past and I don’t want to go through that again. Having close people in my life that I know 100 percent that I can trust has made me be more open minded of things and that if I need to talk to someone I can always count on them to be by my side. Learning how to trust people has made me more open to facing obstacles because even though numerous people have let me down, I still try to trust other people so that they can prove to me if I should trust them in the future.