Research on trauma about the short story, "The Things They Carried."

Home, - Research on trauma about the short story

Research on trauma about the short story, "The Things They Carried."

In the short story by Tim Obrien, "The Things They Carried, it is evident that trauma has been depicted across the narration with respect to the characters. It is through a trauma that most things happen in a manner to repeat themselves or reoccur in the character's minds. Depending on the intensity of the issue at hand and the character being affected, the level of trauma varies from one character to another and its effects too, (Luckhurst). Basically, it is the soldiers who suffer most from trauma issues since this short story focuses on a thematic concern that encompasses the life of a soldier. Each trauma case is connected to a specific issue different from another trauma case making each concern subject to specificity. Through trauma, the plight of the soldiers, their pact and feelings can be expressed to the readers in the form ofnarrative symbolism.Similarly, in the short story's title, the word, "carried," implies the deeper insight of the soldiers who were serving during that time, their emotions as individuals, and their past and present characters. This essay will, therefore, discuss trauma as one of the key concerns the author of, "The Things They Carried," Tim Obrien depicted in his story.

First, a soldier character in the short story, Lieutenant Jimmy Cross secretly carried with him the letters of her lady who was still at home. "They did not love letters, but Lieutenant Cross was hoping, so he kept them folded in plastic at the bottom of his rucksack." (O'Brien, PP 116). It is through these letters that the life of Cross can be described to bring out his individual character both in the past and the present. The letters bear past memories that he had with her woman which overtime helps him ease the rampant conjured up spirit brought about by loneliness. He felt lonely since his lover, Martha was at the moment far from him, and this made the letters the only possible for Cross to relieve himself. "...spend the last hour of light pretending." (O'Brien, Pp. 124). Cross tried as much as possible to find solace in the letters regardless of his love status with Martha. Cross pretended that wherever Martha was, she was definitely missing him the same way and that she was yearning to see him as much as he was anxious to see her. To him, these pictures and letters meant everything to him, and there was no way anybody could have retrieved him from the thoughts of Martha. Unlike Cross, the other soldiers never experienced this similar trauma case and, therefore, the ideology of trauma specificity comes in. Each soldier suffers from their own personal memories in relation to the already entrenched mental brutality that they faced during the war. All those practices that most soldiers involve themselves in are only to try an drift away the pain they are suffering and establish a basic platform upon which an efficient healing process can be rooted.

Secondly, the idea behind Vietnam affects the peace of mind of Jensen. He keeps on experiencing personal panic attacks, especially when he recalls the occurrences in Vietnam. This makes him to not only trust himself but also everyone else who surrounds him as he finds it difficult to tress back the human nature he was used to before the war broke out in Vietnam. Jensen sees everyone as his enemy and keeps himself too much cautious about his surroundings, limiting his levels of trust and heightening his personal security concerns. Similarly, most of the soldiers found it difficult to accept the fact that normality will be regained even after the war is over(Craps). They all think of the incidences that took place during the war, and these affect their judgment to a greater extent to the point that they found it difficult to stay bold as soldiers are supposed to be. Tim Obrien describes that the war was over, but the soldiers still found it hard to control themselves from the traumatic occurrences that they had faced in the war. "The war was over, and there was no place in particular to go" (O'Brien, pp. 131). In addition to the low self-esteem from the inhumane experiences, the soldiers had to face reality still after they were sad and that their lives had been crushed down by the war. AS opposed to how they left their homes before the war they return home to a low-status life, empty beds overall loss and feel emotionally low.

According to Obrien, after the war, most of the soldiers expected not only a warm welcome but also a more ambient environment that would enable them to ease from the emotional distress they faced in Vietnam. For instance, Bowker lives an undecided life first because he misses sally and secondly because he cannot access max, his childhood friend, (Trimble, pp. 31-39). Emotionally stricken, Bowker seeks solace in driving around his neighborhood using his dad's Chevy as a sign to evade from reality. "...feeling safe, and remembering how things used to be when there has not been a war" (O'Brien, pp. 158). Bowker feels demoralized for not having either his girlfriend beside him or his friend Max who drowned long ago. These memories, when connected to the war experience in Vietnam, ruin his mental sustenance living him with no option but to seek a more secure way to deal with his problems. Being on war plays the most detrimental role in ruining the normal way of livelihood of the soldiers, (Liu, pp. 55-71). Soldiers encountered scenes that cannot easily get out of their minds, and therefore, they have to seek solace elsewhere to avoid being mind drooled by the same incidences time over time, (Craps).

In conclusion, most cases of trauma are vividly connected to the power of sight and remembrance of one's past. Since it is a war, it is expected that brutal massacres took place, especially now that it was in Vietnam one of the longest battlefields that ever lived. This intensifies the rate at which the soldiers who survived saw the brutal eventualities in real-time, making them susceptible patients who have high chances of suffering from trauma. Trauma develops as a result of these incidences in relation to how often the characters recall them in their minds making it hard to erase the memories. In avoidance to this sad reality, most soldiers jump in to venture into activities that will ease their stress rate, otherwise lowering potential depression cases. They often find themselves doing things that they are not sure or somehow illogical considering their state only for the benefit of moving on from the emotional trauma.

Leave a comment


Related :-