Tuesday, January 21, 2020
Things They Carried Essay: Rebirth of a Spirit :: Things They Carried Essays
Rebirth of a Spirit in The Things They Carried Speaking of courage is a story found in Tim O ' Brien's The Things They Carried about a solider named Norman Bowker who has returned home from the Vietnam War. As Bowker circles the town's "source of pride" he comes to realize that the town that he left so many years ago will never be the same. While his life was paused by the war, theirs weren't. He also comes to understand that while the people he once knew have changed that he has also changed. He has been consumed by a war and it will forever alter his being. When Norman Bowker returns to his hometown after the war things seem to have moved on without him. It seems that while his life was put on pause, his friends and family had moved on to their lives. His simple wish is for the past to be the present once again. He speaks of his friends Max Arnold and Sally Kramer. Now, Max was dead and Bowker refers to him as an idea. He talks of how things would be different if Max was around to listen to all his stories and how Max would have enjoyed them. The irony is that Max is gone. At one time Bowker had carried a picture of Sally in his wallet. He talked of how he would stop and talk to her when he saw her while driving. He decided that he might impress her with his knowledge that he had acquired during the war such as his ability to predict the time at any point during the day within 10 minutes. He repeatedly said "if she was to listen". Just like the others she did not want to think about the war, it was in the past. Page 143 makes a clear po int that "The town could not talk, and would not listen.. It (the town) did not know shit about shit, and did not care to know". As Bowker continues what seems to be a trip back to what is reality he circles the town lake nearly 13 times. This lake is the life of the town and is very symbolic in itself. On one side of the lake the houses are "modern, with big porches and picture windows facing the water" on the opposite side the houses were described as "handsome, though less expensive and on a smaller scale".