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Word Count: 517
The Things They Carried is a thoroughly gripping book with a raw honesty that is absolutely haunting Aside from the Bible no book has affected me so deeply I was not there in the jungles of Vietnam I was not even alive when the fighting occurred There are only a few people I know who fought in those far away jungles and rarely do they speak of it Then I met Tim OBrien I met him walking through the jungle pondering Canada visiting his boyhood home and remembering his dreams He told me the truth about VietnamHe told me the truth but he took twists and turns in his story He leapt backward and seemed to be going nowhere but that is just when he would hit me hard and fast with his point I wondered why he was telling me like this and then I realized that is was the only way for me to understand Mere words could take me to the jungle but it was the dizzying truth that would make me feel the heat and confusion He made sure I knew that in war There is no clarity Every thing swirls 88 It was the nature of his memoryI learned about the tangible things that the men carried into and through the jungle They carried pictures love letters steel helmets and M-16s There were other things though things they didnt always pull out and show the other guys Fear was tucked away somewhere behind their eyes and innocence was carried in but quickly stolen away The war robbed them of their peaceful sleep and guiltlessness and gave vivid memory in their place Theyll never forget the surreal images that make up their memories of Vietnam That is what Tim OBrien and the men of his company carried out of Vietnam They carried things heavier and more profound than what they came in with Things like haunting memories and guilt
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