The war, without a uncertainty, genuinely affects First Lieutenant Jimmy Cross who suffers from remembrances of battleground experiences both during and after the war. Cross, a immature, immature male child, enrolls in the war to have college credits and because his friends are making it. However, he has no desire to be a squad leader, and as a consequence is really unprepared for the atrociousnesss of war he finally encounters. For illustration, Kiowas sudden and mindless decease deeply affects Cross. Upon larning of this decease, Cross concludes that he made a error bivouacing on the unsafe riverside, a blooper that will last with him for the remainder of his life. The Lieutenant guiltily thinks to himself, [ I ] shouldve [ followed my ] foremost impulseand headed for higher groundNo alibis ( 161 ) . Despite his attempts to compose a meaningful missive to the fallen soldiers father, Lieutenant Cross sense of guilt illustrates that the weight of duty is enfeebling for the inexperient soldiers of Vietnam and can hold unbounded effects on their lives. Furthermore, Cross distraction of whether or non his girlfriend is a virgin proves fatal. When Lavender, one of the soldiers of Alpha Company, is on his manner back from the bathroom, an enemy shoots the soldier, lethally wounding him. Even though, at the clip, Cross can non believe of anything else besides his girlfriend, Lavenders decease proves to be one of the most graphic and guilt-filling memories Cross holds to this twenty-four hours. After firing the two exposure of his girlfriend, Cross says to himself, Lavender is dead. You cant fire the incrimination ( 22 ) . By this phase of the war, Lieutenant Cross understands that with duty comes blame. In this instance of bad judgement, the incrimination falls on the Lieutenant. While some soldiers keep their memories of war inside themselves, Cross uses a technique similar to the writers for covering with this load of incrimination: he expresses his emotions through words. By composing a missive in his caput to Kiowas male parent and taking the duty for Lavenders decease, he successfully uses OBriens storytelling tactic to relieve some of his feelings of guilt. As one can see, First Lieutenant Jimmy Cross suffers vastly from his guilt and remembrances of war, but he finds a manner through words to relieve some of the guilt that has been mounting inside of him.
In add-on, Norman Bowker suffers vastly from the effects of the battleground. From the clip when he continuously circles around the lake in his hometown of Iowa to his drawn-out missive to OBrien, the reader clearly notices that the war has deeply impacted the life of Bowker. For one, Bowker worries that Kiowas decease signifies Bowkers treachery of his friend since he did non draw his organic structure out of the clay when Kiowa was droping. The storyteller shows Bowkers reminiscence of this guilt by stating, He pulled hard but Kiowa was gone, and so all of a sudden he felt himself traveling, excessively ( 143 ) . In the actual sense, one can see Bowkers traveling as him droping deeper into the field. However, in the nonliteral significance, the reader can acknowledge that go forthing Kiowa signifies the start of Bowkers journey down a way of guilt since he could non forestall Kiowa from submerging. Furthermore, Bowkers guilt suppurating sores inside himself since he is unable to portion his guilt with the outside universe. The storyteller ponders about Bowker non being able to speak about his war experiences by stating, He wished he couldve explained some of this, [ but ] he could non speak about it and ne’er would ( 147 ) . Whereas OBrien and Cross are successful at sharing their narratives to relieve their guilt, Bowker is unable to utilize the act of storytelling to negociate the injury of war. As a consequence of non being able to go forth his harrowing remembrances behind him, these effects of war build up indoors of Bowkers head to the point of him perpetrating self-destruction. For these grounds, OBriens novel truly shows the enormous effects the war has on Norman Bowker, and because of his inability to portion his narratives with others, he is unable to relieve the hurting and guilt maturating inside of him.
Finally, the novel makes an of import statement about the impact of war and how to avoid its on-going emotional effects. Throughout his short narratives, OBrien utilizes the technique of utilizing words to explicate his emotions and remembrances in order to free himself of the awful memories of war. From the narratives of Lieutenant Cross, the reader besides learns that he, excessively, implements this method to return to a normal, stable life. However, Norman Bowker is unable to portion his war memories, and as a consequence, kills himself in his effort to return to life before the war. Nevertheless, throughout the novel, OBrien makes a cardinal statement that sharing memories is the most effectual manner to get by with the horrifying memories and emotional effects of war.
To reason, OBriens The Things They Carried truly addresses the effects of war non merely on soldiers on the battleground but besides on soldiers at place. OBriens usage of First Lieutenant Jimmy Cross and Private Norman Bowker to demo the effects that the Vietnam War has had on these two soldiers efficaciously illustrates the emotional and psychological impact that war can hold on its topics. However, even though Bowker ne’er had a opportunity to make so, OBrien does propose that composing about war narratives, which he has done, does assist relieve the hurting of the memories of the battleground. So, in the terminal, Jose Narosky is right: war leaves no soldier unscathed.