“The Things They Carried” Book Report

I read a book called “The Things They Carried” by a man named Tim O’Brien. In this book O’Brien wanted to show his readers about his past war times and what him and his platoon had to endure day after day. He wanted the readers to understand that war is much different than just being out killing people. His main goal was to express the hardship he endured and the guilt he receives even after doing something right.

In the book O’Brien would explain how everyday he would have to carry his weapon, Pictures of family, water, food, medical supplies, knives and many other things. Not only would he and his platoon have to carry all of their equipment, but also they would have to walk miles on end while they carry it. His platoon changed their schedule to avoid detection. They would move only at night and during the day rest.

When someone goes to war its not all about ‘go over there and kill everyone so we can win’. Our troops kill only if their life is in danger. After each kill the soldier has to endure guilt. Not all soldiers are like that. Some change as O’Brien explains in this book. After a soldier kills a few he becomes immune to the guilt and treats the dead just as if they were alive. O’Brien explains that all the men in his platoon would go to the dead and shake their hand and talk to them. He was new to this whole war thing at the time and was disgusted in seeing them treat the men/women with such disrespect.

A soldier’s job is to obey his commands, to protect himself and his country; if the only way he can accomplish that is to kill he will. Killing to survive and save others lives in our world’s eyes is right but to a soldier its way different. It’s different because the kill is on his back and not ours. He will never be able to forget his first kill. His whole life he will have to live with this false guilt. This is why we need to support our troops.