History Literature / TheThingsTheyCarried

18th Apr '16 9:37:24 PM Timjames98
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TheFriendNobodyLikes: Azar fills this role, as every single interaction he is shown to have with the other members of the crew suggests they can't stand being around him. It might have something to do with him blowing up Ted Lavender's puppy for shits and giggles.

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* TheFriendNobodyLikes: Azar fills this role, as every single interaction he is shown to have with the other members of the crew suggests they can't stand being around him. It might have something to do with him blowing up Ted Lavender's puppy for shits and giggles.
18th Apr '16 9:36:55 PM Timjames98
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Added DiffLines:

TheFriendNobodyLikes: Azar fills this role, as every single interaction he is shown to have with the other members of the crew suggests they can't stand being around him. It might have something to do with him blowing up Ted Lavender's puppy for shits and giggles.
--> Tim O'Brian: "Nobody cared for him, including myself."
8th Oct '15 8:17:32 PM _____________
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-> ''"War is hell, but that's not the half of it, because war is also mystery and terror and adventure and courage and discovery and holiness and pity and despair and longing and love. War is nasty; war is fun. War is thrilling; war is drudgery. War makes you a man; war makes you dead. The truths are contradictory." ''

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[[quoteright:265:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/the_things_they_carried_9780618706419.jpg]]
-> ''"War is hell, but that's not the half of it, because war is also mystery and terror and adventure and courage and discovery and holiness and pity and despair and longing and love. War is nasty; war is fun. War is thrilling; war is drudgery. War makes you a man; war makes you dead. The truths are contradictory." ''



* ActionGirl: Mary Anne. She learns how to disassemble an M-16, fights with the green berets, and [[GoingNative goes native]] in the [[HungryJungle Vietnamese jungle]].



* CommunicationsOfficer: Mitchell Sanders. The fact that he is this while also being TheStoryteller is [[SarcasmMode probably isn't]] [[RuleOfSymbolism symbolic.]]
* CorruptTheCutie: [[TheNarrator O'Brien]], Lt. Cross. Many of the soldiers, really. Azar [[SubvertedTrope subverts]] this, using it as a justification for [[KickTheDog blowing up a puppy.]]

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* BreadEggsMilkSquick: At the end of "Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong," Mary Anne is described as wearing "her culottes, her pink sweater, and a necklace of human tongues."
* CommunicationsOfficer: Mitchell Sanders. The fact that he He is also this while also being TheStoryteller is [[SarcasmMode probably isn't]] [[RuleOfSymbolism symbolic.]]
TheStoryteller.
* CorruptTheCutie: [[TheNarrator O'Brien]], Lt. Cross. Many of the soldiers, really. Azar [[SubvertedTrope subverts]] this, using it as a justification for [[KickTheDog blowing up a puppy.]]puppy]].



* DrivenToSuicide: [[spoiler: Norman Bowker after the war.]]

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* DrivenToSuicide: [[spoiler: Norman Bowker after the war.]]war]].



* FemalesAreMoreInnocent: Totally [[AvertedTrope averted.]] See HerosMuse.
* FridgeBrilliance: See TheEndingChangesEverything. No specific examples, but the way the book is written lends itself to this. Tim O'Brien's writing style takes after [[Creator/ErnestHemingway Hemingway]] at least in part, so it's not altogether surprising.

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* FemalesAreMoreInnocent: Totally [[AvertedTrope averted.]] averted]]. See HerosMuse.
* %%* FridgeBrilliance: See TheEndingChangesEverything. No specific examples, but the way the book is written lends itself to this. Tim O'Brien's writing style takes after [[Creator/ErnestHemingway Hemingway]] at least in part, so it's not altogether surprising.
8th Jan '15 9:31:28 PM pasta711
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* WorldOfSymbolism: It honestly wouldn't be to ridiculous to call this one of the most heavily symbolic books ever written. The book is written in this way since O'Brien felt that a civilian could never properly understand the real experience of being a soldier without being one himself, so instead attempted to capture the essence of the experience instead, in a way that a civilian would be able to understand. This is the reasoning behind the "truer than the truth" quote at the top of the page, and the reason it's given such a heavy focus throughout the book.

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* WorldOfSymbolism: It honestly wouldn't be to ridiculous to call this one of the most heavily symbolic books ever written. The book is written in this way since O'Brien felt that a civilian could never properly understand the real experience of being a soldier without being one himself, so he instead attempted to capture the essence of the experience instead, in a way that a civilian would be able to understand. This is the reasoning behind the "truer than the truth" quote at the top of the page, and the reason it's given such a heavy focus throughout the book.
25th Mar '14 5:43:24 PM pasta711
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* HerosMuse: [[DeconstructedTrope Deconstructed]] to hell and back. Numerous characters that play this role to several of the soldiers end up causing a considerable amount of the conflict of the plot, such as Martha, Henry Dobbins' girlfriend, and the ex-girlfriend of the guy who [[spoiler: got Kiowa killed]]. The men cling to the idealized versions of these women in their heads since they find the notion that [[FemalesAreMoreInnocent innocence]] and [[PurityPersonified purity]] still exist somewhere outside of the war to be comforting in a situation [[InnocenceLost that has deprived themselves of it]]. Believing in this causes [[spoiler: Lt. Cross to fall into even deeper despair after Ted Lavender is killed while he's day dreaming of Martha, and Mary Anne [[GoingNative going native]] and joining the war effectively deconstructs the entire notion of women's innocence.]]

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* HerosMuse: [[DeconstructedTrope Deconstructed]] to hell and back. Numerous characters that play this role to several of the soldiers end up causing a considerable amount of the conflict of the plot, such as Martha, Henry Dobbins' girlfriend, and the ex-girlfriend of the guy who [[spoiler: got Kiowa killed]]. The men cling to the idealized versions of these women in their heads since they find the notion that [[FemalesAreMoreInnocent innocence]] and [[PurityPersonified purity]] still exist somewhere outside of the war to be comforting in a situation [[InnocenceLost that has deprived themselves them of it]].it themselves]]. Believing in this causes [[spoiler: Lt. Cross to fall into even deeper despair after Ted Lavender is killed while he's day dreaming of Martha, and Mary Anne [[GoingNative going native]] and joining the war effectively deconstructs the entire notion of women's innocence.]]
25th Mar '14 5:42:48 PM pasta711
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* HerosMuse: [[DeconstructedTrope Deconstructed]] to hell and back. Numerous characters that play this role to several of the soldiers end up causing a considerable amount of the conflict of the plot, such as Martha, Henry Dobbins' girlfriend, the ex-girlfriend of the guy who [[spoiler: got Kiowa killed]], and [[spoiler: Linda, in a way]]. The men cling to the idealized versions of these women in their heads since they find the notion that [[FemalesAreMoreInnocent innocence]] and [[PurityPersonified purity]] still exist somewhere outside of the war to be comforting in the terrible situation they find themselves in. Believing in this causes [[spoiler: Lt. Cross to fall into even deeper despair after Ted Lavender is killed while he's day dreaming of Martha, and Mary Anne [[GoingNative going native]] and joining the war effectively deconstructs the entire notion of women's innocence.]]

to:

* HerosMuse: [[DeconstructedTrope Deconstructed]] to hell and back. Numerous characters that play this role to several of the soldiers end up causing a considerable amount of the conflict of the plot, such as Martha, Henry Dobbins' girlfriend, and the ex-girlfriend of the guy who [[spoiler: got Kiowa killed]], and [[spoiler: Linda, in a way]]. killed]]. The men cling to the idealized versions of these women in their heads since they find the notion that [[FemalesAreMoreInnocent innocence]] and [[PurityPersonified purity]] still exist somewhere outside of the war to be comforting in the terrible a situation they find [[InnocenceLost that has deprived themselves in.of it]]. Believing in this causes [[spoiler: Lt. Cross to fall into even deeper despair after Ted Lavender is killed while he's day dreaming of Martha, and Mary Anne [[GoingNative going native]] and joining the war effectively deconstructs the entire notion of women's innocence.]]
25th Mar '14 5:37:58 PM pasta711
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Added DiffLines:

* DrivenToSuicide: [[spoiler: Norman Bowker after the war.]]


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* ShellShockedVeteran: What [[spoiler: Norman Bowker]] eventually becomes. [[spoiler: He tells O'Brien that he thinks he really died in the shit field.]] Or that could just be [[UnreliableNarrator O'Brien's fabrication]]. It doesn't matter either way.
25th Mar '14 5:33:21 PM pasta711
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Added DiffLines:

* FemalesAreMoreInnocent: Totally [[AvertedTrope averted.]] See HerosMuse.


Added DiffLines:

* HerosMuse: [[DeconstructedTrope Deconstructed]] to hell and back. Numerous characters that play this role to several of the soldiers end up causing a considerable amount of the conflict of the plot, such as Martha, Henry Dobbins' girlfriend, the ex-girlfriend of the guy who [[spoiler: got Kiowa killed]], and [[spoiler: Linda, in a way]]. The men cling to the idealized versions of these women in their heads since they find the notion that [[FemalesAreMoreInnocent innocence]] and [[PurityPersonified purity]] still exist somewhere outside of the war to be comforting in the terrible situation they find themselves in. Believing in this causes [[spoiler: Lt. Cross to fall into even deeper despair after Ted Lavender is killed while he's day dreaming of Martha, and Mary Anne [[GoingNative going native]] and joining the war effectively deconstructs the entire notion of women's innocence.]]
25th Mar '14 5:20:25 PM pasta711
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* [[KickTheDog Blow Up The Dog]]: Azar. He laughs about it and wonders why the others think it's such a big deal.

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* [[KickTheDog Blow Up The Dog]]: Azar.Azar, Ted Lavender's puppy. He laughs about it and wonders why the others think it's such a big deal.



* SociopathicSoldier

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* SociopathicSoldierSociopathicSoldier: Azar's entire role as a character. [[spoiler: Until he sees Kiowa's body after they pull it out of the shit field, after which it's revealed his cruelty is all just a facade that helps him deal with the war. Possibly one of the few idealistic moments of the book.]]
25th Mar '14 2:34:59 PM pasta711
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* {{Surrealism}}: The entire work is a prime example of a modern Surrealist piece of literature, and is essentially what the entire "truer than the truth" concept boils down to.



* UnreliableNarrator

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* UnreliableNarratorUnreliableNarrator: Midway through the book the narrator admits that the entire section of book detailing [[spoiler: Curt Lemon's death]] was entirely made up. He was never playing catch with Rat Kiley using smoke grenades, he didn't step on a rigged 105 round in the sunlight, and Rat Kiley never reacted that way to his death. The real Curt Lemon was killed by a sniper in a swamp some place. The narrator then notes that just because it's untrue doesn't make it [[ItMeantSomethingToMe any less real]] to the guys who saw it. Which is why it's a love story, not a war story.
** The real kicker is when you realize the story of him dying in the swamp is untrue as well. [[spoiler: The real Curt Lemon didn't die on the Batangan Peninsula. He was never real, the book is a work of fiction.]] [[MindFuck And the narrator knows it.]]
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