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Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried is not a novel about the Vietnam War. It is a story about the soldiers and their experiences and emotions that are brought about from the war. O'Brien makes several statements about war through these characters. He shows the violent nature of soldiers under the pressures of war, he makes an effective antiwar statement, and he comments on the reversal of a social deviation into the norm. The violent nature that the soldiers acquired during their tour in Vietnam is one of O'Brien's themes in his novel. By selecting very descriptive details that reveal the change in the men, O'Brien creates an understanding of the effects of war on its participants.
In this book the knowledge of death and its closeness causes the men in the story to alter their behavior by changing they way they display power, modifying emotions to relieve guilt, and by exhibiting different actions to ease anxiety. Death can change how people display their power or how they use their existing power by altering their behavior. Power is an emotionally strong element to have; power can make someone feel better by knowing that they have control over someone or something else. When fear is present, power can aid in easing the anxiety by giving the person the emotional lift that is present when control is felt.
The power, which is present in the story, is physical power and an example is Norman Bowker carrying a thumb of a boy that had been killed. The carrying of the thumb shows that he had power over the boy; this gives him some relief to know he had that kind of control. Cross's power, over the rest of the men, increased his fear of death for all the men not just himself because he is responsible for them. With his responsibility, Jimmy Cross alters his behavior to keep all of his men safe, and he only does this because of his power. An example of Jimmy Cross changing his behavior because of power was after Lavender was killed
SparkNotes: The Scarlet Letter: Character List
A list of all the characters in The Scarlet Letter
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I’m repubbing this review of The Scarlet Letter, starring Lillian Gish, originally published in July of 2011. Am I being lazy? Yep, but I’m excusing it by saying there’s a lot of new faces here these days. Welcome everyone!