The themes in Tim O'Brien's "The Things They Carried" are the physical and emotional burdens carried by soldiers, the subjective nature of truth in storytelling and fear and shame as a motivation in war. Tim O'Brien uses his own experiences to develop the themes in his story that follows a platoon of infantrymen in the Vietnam War.Continue Reading
The title "The Things They Carried" emphasizes the first theme. The soldiers carry around the burden of their large packs, but they also carry the burdens of fear, guilt, grief, a need for love and comfort. The physical items the characters carry help to illuminate the emotional burden they shoulder. According to SparkNotes, Henry Dobbins carries around his girlfriend's pantyhose, which reflects his emotional burden of a need for love and comfort.
O'Brien also highlights how subjective truth is in war stories where there has been terror and trauma. At times it is difficult for soldiers to separate their nightmares and fears from reality. O'Brien clarifies through this theme that it is not so much the facts that make up a story or experience, rather the way the experience is internalized by the soldier.
The third theme communicates the difference between going to war out of patriotism and going to war out of fear of being called a coward. Once the soldiers are in Vietnam, their actions are dictated by a desire for social acceptance among their peers (platoon) that leads them into many dangerous situations.Learn more about Classics
Some common topics for study questions about the novel "To Kill A Mockingbird" ask readers to analyze the trajectory of the relationship between Boo Radley and Scout and Jem, explain the symbolism and meaning of the mockingbird in the novel, evaluate Atticus Finch's parenting style, examine Atticus Finch's role and status in the Maycomb community, and critically think about how Scout's point-of-view may have affected the storytelling. These questions warrant extended short essay responses.Full Answer >
Common personality traits of alcoholics include anxiety or fear, perfectionism, self-pity, low self-esteem and shame, according to The Alcoholism Guide. Other common characteristics are feelings of guilt, a low tolerance for negative feelings or situations, impulsive behavior, blaming and dependence.Full Answer >
The mountain in "Lord of the Flies" symbolizes hope and truth, according to Enotes. By reaching the top of the mountain, the boys gain hope of surviving their situation and realize truth of what the island is as new information is revealed and more challenges confront them.Full Answer >
One example of a short Christian story about telling the truth is "Too Many Bad Things," which is about a boy who accidentally breaks the neighbor's property. Another popular Biblical story involves Elisha, a healer whose servant attempted to swindle a man who had recently been healed.Full Answer >