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All of us have baggage that we choose to proudly carry or shamefully shove in our deepest darkest closets We have possessions that are extensions of our own personalities and each have our own sob stories just the same They all tell their own tales and have great meaning In the first chapter of The Things They Carried with the same name author Tim OBrien simply yet skillfully informs his readers of the literal and figurative things that his characters carried throughout the war the outer and inner struggles they faced while in the heat of battle and how similar men in war are to men in everyday life In the literal sense the soldiers carried a variety of things What they carried was partly a function of rank partly of field specialtyto some extent by superstition OBrien alludes to a fact of life his simple statement shows how what each man carries inon his bag is partly due to his rank just as men in life carry certain objects as a result of social status Yet even human fear plays a pivotal role even when at war Lieutenant Jimmy Cross carried a compass maps codebooks binoculars a 45 caliber pistol that weighed 29 pounds fully loaded a strobe light and for luck a rabbits foot and simple pebble from Martha his love As an RTO Mitchell Sanders carried the PRC-25 radio a killer 26 pounds with its battery Mitchell Sanders also had with him a set of starched tiger fatigues for special occasions Black Flag insecticide and a dark brown four ounce thumb that had been cut from a VC fifteen year old male corpse for good luck was with Henry Dobbins at all times This abstract charm represents the abstractness of human nature Due to Rat Kileys status as the unit medic he carried a canvas satchel filled with morphine and plasma and malaria and surgical tape and comic books Not to mention
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