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Tim OBriens The Things They Carried is not a story about theVietnam war but about some soldiers and the things they carry as theirplatoon moves through their area of operation during the Vietnam War Asthe soldiers go through their missions in the Vietnam War thesesoldiers carry a wide variety of things that can be catagorized intothings of necessity things of rank and things of superstition Thethings the soldiers carry show additional information about thecharacters and how they are not so different from those who are notsoldiers fighting in warThe men in war carry numerous basic things they need during the warsuch as pocket knives lighters and water The book clearly statesAmong the necessities or near necessities werepocketkniveslightersand two or three canteens of water OBrien355 The necessity of pocket knives and other weapons indicates defenseto be safe Once an opponent strikes then there is something to attackthe opponent with to keep the soldiers from being injured Thesedangerous deathly weapons are what can be used to keep the soldiersalive if they use it properly Lighters and matches are necessary toignite and activate fires which can act as either a bombard against theenemies or warmth during the more cold times The use of water is whatkeeps the soldiers hydrated energized and alive A scarcity of watercan cause humans to die just after a couple of days These necessitiesshow the soldiers fundamental need to be alive and keep fighting fortheir country Soldiers fighting in war are no different from those whoare back home They have the same basic needs and wants of staying andbeing alive Although their approach to this will be more barbaric dueto them being in the wilderness everyone wants to be aliveThese soldiers do not just carry things of necessity but they alsocarry the things their military rank demands that they carry The authorsays What they carried was partly a function of rank partly of fieldspecialty 357 There is the lieutenant the medic and the machinegunner
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