The Things They Carried Courage Essay

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Tim O’Brien is fairly conscious of the difference between cowardice and bravery.

To him, courage is not fulfilling what is socially accepted, but continuing to uphold one’s own morals even against adversity.

Both of Tim O' Brien's stories, The Things They Carried and On The Rainy River, portray courage in a different way than most war stories do.

The themes of these stories revolve around courage, and different character's opinions about it.

To Norman, on the battlefield, medals are won for “…

The Things They Carried Courage Essay

The routine, daily stuff- Just humping, Just enduring.For tremendous acts of bravery, some soldiers are presented with awards such as the Distinguished Service Cross and the Medal of Honor.In the book author Tim O’Brien explores the importance of courage.This quote perfectly embodies the view Tim O’Brien has on courage, as he eloquently demonstrates in his book The Things They Carried.Although all the characters of this novel display O’Brien point of view, the three shining examples of this are Norman Booker, Jimmy Cross, and Tim O’Brien himself.His feelings are revealed in the chapter “On the Rainy River,” where he shamefully describes his “fast and mindless” flight to Canada to escape the draft (47). And even years later, he sees this decision as pathetic.Although he feels that the reasons, or lack thereof, behind the Vietnam War were wrong, he finally succumbs to his culture’s current idea of bravery, which was becoming a soldier in the war. “l was a coward,” he reflects afterwards, “l went to the AR” (61).It was not courage, exactly; the object was not valor.Rather, they were too frightened to be cowards” (pig 22).Although the character of Tim O’Brien fails to be brave in some of his anecdotes, he discusses his understanding of audacity and his observations of it in the worlds around him.In author Tim O’Brien describes his newfound understanding of courage; it develops with experience and is intertwined with fear of death and the apprehension of shame.


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