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Cruelty of War Primarily Tim OBriens The Things They Carried depicts the experiences of a Lieutenant and his men during the Vietnam war As OBrien develops the story he embodies the idea that life at war inflicts psychological trauma and emotional conflicts within American soldiers OBrien develops the predominant theme by portraying the characters internal conflicts describing the characters violent actions and by displaying symbols To develop the theme OBrien portrays the characters internal conflicts while serving in Vietnam war OBrien introduces the main character First Lieutenant Jimmy Cross as a man deeply enamored with Martha Narrating the story Tim OBrien states he loved Martha more than anything more than his men and now Ted Lavender was deadparagraph 11 Therefore this statement makes evident Lt Crosss preponderant sorrow and unbearable guilt he burdens as a result of Ted Lavenders death Moreover the soldiers feel the desperate necessity to suppress their deepest fears During dangerous times the soldiers temporarily panic at the thought of death Nonetheless after the violent attacks awkwardly the men reassemble themselves first in private then in groups becoming soldiers again paragraph 65 In tune with OBriens the soldiers at war have an unspoken need to act brave to maintain composure and to prevent fright from saturating them Additionally after Ted Lavenders death Kiowas a devout Christian moral values come into conflict To effectively convey the theme of the story OBrien describes Kiowas deepest thoughts by stating it was hard to feel anythingit seemed unchristianbut the emotion wasnt there paragraph 60 Ironically as a religious individual Kiowa appears emotionless at Ted Lavenders death Undeniably this proves that war indeed has negative effects in men even in the most pious souls In addition OBriens vivid descriptions of the characteractions become significant to the theme Consequently OBrien reveals the psychological transformation that soldiers undergo under the pressures of war To accomplish this OBrien narrates Norman Bowler otherwise a very gentle person carried a thumb
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