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Before his draft notice arrived, "O'Brien" had taken a mild stand against the war in the form of campaigning for the presidential campaign of anti-war advocate Eugene McCarthy and writing college newspaper editorials against the war.
He recounts his thoughts on receiving a draft notice, feeling that he was not suited for war because his educational accomplishments and graduate school prospects were too great.
O'Brien tells his father that his plan for the summer is to wait and work. He spends his summer working at a pig slaughterhouse and meatpacking plant.
The work is messy and unpleasant, and O'Brien feels his life going out of control. Around mid-July, O'Brien begins thinking about crossing the border into Canada to avoid the draft. He weighs the morality of this decision as he fears losing respectability, being ridiculed, and being caught by authorities.
While at work in the slaughterhouse, O'Brien suddenly feels an urge to go to Canada.
He leaves work and drives north along the Rainy River, the natural border between the U. Exhausted and scared, O'Brien stops, still on the U.
The elderly owner, Elroy Berdahl, rents him a cabin. Elroy does not pry into O'Brien's plans, though they are probably fairly obvious. O'Brien continues to feel nervousness and fear, and above all else, shame for running to Canada, but he joins Elroy in chores around the lodge to forget about his troubles.
O'Brien refuses the money, though he would need it if he did continue on to Canada. O'Brien the narrator comments on the thoughts that flashed through his mind. He remembers crying and feeling helpless while Elroy just keeps on fishing, pretending not to notice.
O'Brien tries to force himself out of the boat and toward the Canadian shore but can not compel himself to flee to Canada. They return to the lodge, and O'Brien departs for home and, eventually, for Vietnam.
Analysis From the first sentence of the chapter, O'Brien begins to impress, however subtly, the importance of the novel's form, a blend of war autobiography and writer's memoir. Readers should note that a writer's memoir is a form of autobiography. Generally, a writer's memoir is more essayistic and contemplative than an autobiography, in which an author recounts scenes from his or her own life.
Writer's memoirs frequently describe how a writer writes and what the conditions were — mental and emotional — that surrounded the production of some literary or journalistic work. The admission that "this is one story I've never told before" signals two points to the reader.
First, the story establishes a confessional tone and creates an immediate empathy between the reader and the O'Brien character.
Second, in the context of the preceding chapter, the reader knows that this is an unresolved story, perhaps a fragment of memory that, given O'Brien's philosophy of storytelling, is being crafted into a story as a means for understanding the events of the past.
Yet the story is not fragmentary and disconnected, abruptly moving between memories. The overall form of the chapter is narrative, though the stream-of-consciousness interjection of raw emotions interrupts the story's fluidity.
For example, when O'Brien discusses the justifications that apparently underpinned U. The uncertainty continues to disturb him until he takes this "act of remembrance" and makes sense of moral disorder by committing it to paper and formulating it into a story for the narrator himself and the novel's readers to understand.
An important difference exists between the physical and sensory detail O'Brien employs at the beginning of the chapter, or rather the lack of it, and the attention paid to it at the chapter's close.
I felt no personal danger. An example of this detail is the contrast of O'Brien's work in the meatpacking plant to the future that he hopes awaits him in graduate school. O'Brien works in the meatpacking plant as a summer job, not as an occupation that will become a full-time career.
He has aspirations, and those aspirations are higher than working in such conditions. Work in the plant, for O'Brien, is nearly an indignity, an indignity that is surpassed only by his participation in a war that he morally opposes.
O'Brien offers this variation in detail for the following reason: The effect also appears when Elroy Berdahl perceptively tells O'Brien that he had wondered about the smell. The metaphor of the pork product assembly line also extends to the military machine that drafts soldiers and sends them to war.
O'Brien only took action to evade the draft and follow his own inclinations rather than follow the expectations of his community after he "felt something break open in [his] chest…a physical rupture — a cracking-leaking-popping feeling. He creates a complex relationship between physical detail, his ability to understand the story of his own life, and the audience's ability to understand the vicarious lessons of war, even if those lessons are paradoxical.
O'Brien sets up paradoxical relationships that are revisited in various forms throughout the novel. One such paradox is that of courage and fear.They carried all they could bear, and then some, including a silent awe for the terrible power of the things they carried.
In the first week of April, before Lavender died, Lieutenant Jimmy Cross received a good-luck charm from Martha. In The Things They Carried, protagonist "Tim O'Brien," a writer and Vietnam War veteran, works through his memories of his war service to find meaning in them.
Interrelated short stories present themes such as the allure of war, the loss of innocence, and the relationship between fact and fiction. The story “The Things They Carried” portrays that for some soldiers their burden is too heavy and they cannot carry it any longer.
At the beginning of the story O’Brien describes things they carry: “what they carry was partly a function of rank, partly a field spatiality” (O’Brien, p.
5). The Things They Carried depicts the men of Alpha Company: Jimmy Cross, Henry Dobbins, Rat Kiley, Mitchell Sanders, Norman Bowker, Kiowa, and of course, the character Tim O'Brien who has survived his tour in Vietnam to become a father and writer at the age of forty-three/5().
When under pressure, a person’s true colors will inevitably be revealed. This couldn’t be more evident than in war, where internal tension is at an all-time high, and decisions are made with the utmost veracity. In Tim O’Brien’s novel “The Things They Carried,” First Lieutenant Jimmy Cross.
The Things They Carried depicts the men of Alpha Company: Jimmy Cross, Henry Dobbins, Rat Kiley, Mitchell Sanders, Norman Bowker, Kiowa, and the character Tim OBrien, who has survived his tour in Vietnam to become a father and writer at the age of forty-three/5(7).