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.Know More
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
The themes of Toni Cade Bambara's short story, "Raymond's Run" include feminism, African-American family life, platonic connections based on empathy, the strengths of the African-American community and the African-American tradition of struggle. It also deals with a child's perception of the world, where one's entire life outlook can change in response to a single event, and invites the reader to see through a child's eyes.Full Answer >
Education Portal provides a good summary of Wordsworth's "Prelude." The summary includes a concise introduction with context, a more extensive overview and a detailed analysis that articulates the significance of the poem.Full Answer >
In Shakespeare's "Macbeth," the witches predict that Banquo will never be king but that his descendants will be kings. The witches also predict that Banquo will be happier than Macbeth.Full Answer >
In Geoffrey Chaucer's "The Canterbury Tales," the Miller is a wrestling champion that can break doors open with his head. His image is one of a lower-class individual of the medieval times that likens to the "all brawn and no brains" stereotype.Full Answer >