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Emotional Trauma in “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien

My topic is the emotional trauma described in The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien. My main point is that the physical belongings of the soldiers depicted in the book represent their emotional states and priorities. I argue that the author depicts each item to reveal exact traumas American soldiers had to endure. I discuss the role specific belongings played in the life of the characters and in the story. I analyze such items as a girl’s photo that was burnt eventually. The item sheds light on a soldier’s top priority to turn back to the peaceful life and his later transformation into a leader for his team and his burning the picture. I also discuss the way faith is depicted through a soldier’s New Testament and the young man’s death as a symbol of the absence of any spirituality or sense in the war.

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The best article I read was the work by Ruth Lahti entitled “Gesturing beyond the Frame: Transnational Trauma and US War Fiction.” The author discusses the book by O’Brien and provides the analysis of transnational trauma in American literature. I was most intrigued by two parts. The first part that interested me was devoted to the analysis of the book in terms of the trauma theory (Lahti 3). The author stresses that survivor authors used fiction as a way to cope with their traumas and soothe the traumatic symptoms they suffered from. The second part, which is the most intriguing one, is concerned with the way gestures are used to convey the author’s message. I learned about the ways O’Brien utilized close descriptions of gestures to explore the emotional trauma of American soldiers in Vietnam.

Work Cited

Lahti, Ruth A. H. “Gesturing Beyond the Frame: Transnational Trauma and US War Fiction.” Journal of Transnational American Studies, vol. 4, no. 2, 2012, pp. 1-22.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, December 30). Emotional Trauma in “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/emotional-trauma-in-the-things-they-carried-by-tim-obrien/

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StudyCorgi. (2022, December 30). Emotional Trauma in “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien. https://studycorgi.com/emotional-trauma-in-the-things-they-carried-by-tim-obrien/

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"Emotional Trauma in “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien." StudyCorgi, 30 Dec. 2022, studycorgi.com/emotional-trauma-in-the-things-they-carried-by-tim-obrien/.

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StudyCorgi. "Emotional Trauma in “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien." December 30, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/emotional-trauma-in-the-things-they-carried-by-tim-obrien/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "Emotional Trauma in “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien." December 30, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/emotional-trauma-in-the-things-they-carried-by-tim-obrien/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Emotional Trauma in “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien'. 30 December.

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