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The Things They Carried

Global Issue 1: Identity Global Issue 2: Mental Health

Passage 1: Passage 2:

“What happened to her, Rat said, was “Think it over,” Kiowa said.
what happened Then later he said, “Tim, it’s a ​war.​ The
to all of them. You guy wasn’t Heidi---he
come over clean and Had a weapon, right?It’s a tough thing, for sure,
but you got to cut
you get dirty and
out that staring.”
then afterward it’s
Then he said, “Maybe you better lie down
never the same. A a minute.”
question of degree. Then after a long empty time he said,
Some make it intact, “Take it slow. Just go
some don’t make it wherever the spirit takes you.”
all. For Mary, The butterfly was making its way along
Anne Bell, it seemed, the young man's fore-
Vietnam had the head , which was spotted with small dark freckles.
effect of a power- The nose was un-
damaged. The skin on the right cheek was smooth
ful drug;
and fine-grained
that mix of
and hairless. Frail-looking, delicately boned,the
unnamed young man would
terror and not have wanted to be a soldier and in his heart
unnamed would have feared
pleasure that performing badly in battle. Even as a boy growing
comes as the up in the village of
needle My Khe, he had often worried about this. He
slipsin and imagined covering his
you know head and lying in a deep hole and closing his eyes
and not moving
you’re risk-
until the war was over. He had no stomach for
ing
violence. He loved
something. mathematics. His eyebrows were thin and sharp
The like a woman’s, and
endorphins at school the boys sometimes teased him about
start to flow, how pretty he was, the
and the arched eyebrows and long shapely fingers, and on
adren- the playground they
aline, and mimicked a woman’s walk and made fun of his
you hold smooth skin and his
love for mathematics. The young man could not
your
make himself fight
breath and
them. He often wanted to, but he was afraid, and
creep this increased his
quietly patriotic duty, which was also a privilege, but at
through night he prated with
the his mother that the war might end soon. Beyond
moonlit anything else, he
nightscape was afraid of disgracing himself, and therefore his
s; you family and village.
become but all he could do, he thought, was wait and pray
and not try to
intimate
grow up too fast.
with dan-
“Listen to me.” Kiowa said. “You feel
ger; terrible, I know that.”
you’re in Then he said, “Okay, maybe I ​don’t
touch with know.”
the far Along the trail there were small blue
side of flowers shaped like bells.
yourself, The young man’s head was wrenched sideways,
as though not quite facing the
it’s flowers, and even in the shade a single blade of
sunlight sparkled
another
against the buckle of his ammunition belt. The left
hemispher
cheek was peeled
e, and you Back in three ragged strips. The wounds at his
want to neck had not yet clot-
string it Ted, which made him seen animated even in
out and go death, the blood still
wherever Spreading out across his shirt.
the trip Kiowa shook his head.
takes you There was a moment of silence before he
and be said, “Stop, ​staring​” (121-122)
host to all
the pos-
siblities
inside
yourself.
Not ​bad​,
she’d said.
Vietnam
made her
glow in
the dark.
She
wanted
more, she
wanted to
pene- trate
deeper
into the
mystery of
herself,
and after a
time the
wanting
became
needing,
which turn
then to
craving.

According
to Eddie
Diamond,
who heard
it from
one
of the
Greenies,
she took a
greedy
pleasure in
night
patrols.
She was
good at it;
she had
the moves.
All
camouflag
ed up, her
face
smooth
and
vacant,
she
seemed to
flow like
wa-
ter
through
the dark,
like oil,
without
sound or
center.
She went
barefoot.
She
stopped
carrying a
weapon.
There
were
times,
apparently
, when she
took
crazy,
death-wis
h chances
-things
that even
the
Greenies
balked at.
It was as if
she were
taunting
some wild
creature
out in the
bush, or in
her head,
inviting it
to show
itself, a
curious
game of
hide-and-
go- seek
that was
played out
in the
dense
terrain of
a night-
mare. She
was lost
inside
herself.
On
occasion,
when they
were taken
under fire,
Mary
Anne
would
stand
quietly
and watch
the tracer
rounds
snap by, a
little smile
at her lips,
in- tent on
some
private
transactio
n with the
war. Other
times she
would
simply
vanish
altogether-
for hours,
for days.
And
then one
morning,
all alone,
Mary
Anne
walked off
into the
mountains
and did
not come
back.”
(109-110)
Author’s attitude toward the global issue Author’s attitude toward the global issue
(remember to include how the issue is (remember to include how the issue is
portrayed in the passage itself AND how this portrayed in the passage itself AND how this
passage relates to the work as a whole): passage relates to the work as a whole):

O’Brien believes that war changes someone The author’s attitude to the global issue of
like a drug changes someone; people begin to mental health is an attitude of sorrow and
crave danger, some people begin to lose regret because in the passage, he describes the
dead body of a soldier who was similar to
emotions towards dead people, and some
him. This issue is portrayed as a major
people turn into savages with little emotion. problem for O’Brien because it seems that he
O’Brien discusses the global issue of the cannot get over staring at the dead soldier
transformation of an individual’s identity and because he realizes that the soldier had an
reflection of a group’s identity through the actual life, with real dreams. The man
influence of one’s environment. The issue that O’Brien killed wasn’t just a soldier, he was a
soldiers obtain a changed identity due to war human. This thought that O’Brien has caused
him to experience mental health issues
experiences is portrayed by a young girl who because he repeatedly thinks of the dead
encounters danger. She began as a sweet soldier, and the longer he stares and the
seventeen year old, similar to the men, and longer he thinks, the stronger the mental
was curious of the war and she began turning illness will be. This passage represents the
into a savage who craved danger. This whole story because there are many similar
passage relates to the whole work because this instances to this one where people die, not
just soldiers, but real people; the fact that the
passage represents the change of identity for
people they killed had hopes, dreams, family,
incoming soldiers due to war. and friends causes O’Brien and others to feel
extremely guilty, creating this stressful mental
health issues. This is a global issue because
this happens to most soldiers.

Key strategies used in the passage to develop Key strategies used in the passage to develop
the author’s point about the global issue: the author’s point about the global issue:

Metaphor = The war is compared to drugs. Anecdote = The story of the dead man’s life
This comparison shows how the toxic and former emotions brings a stronger sense
atmosphere in the war changes a person like of guilt. This is because knowing a man’s
drugs can change a person. Danger became story increases the emotional output of the
addicting, similar to drug addiction, which killer. The story of the dead man’s life at
changed Mary Anne’s identity for the worse. home and love for math, and other average
things made O’Brien feel some connection to
Repetition = Repetition of the word she the man, therefore, the description of his
causes Mary Anne to seem more like an brutally distorted face hits O’Brien harder,
object, rather than a person. This develops giving him a harsher guiltiness, leaving him
O’Brien’s point because he shows how war with mental health issues.
changes a person into a savage. Towards the Repetition = The repetition of “stop staring”
beginning of her appearance they referenced shows how O’Brien was mesmerized by the
her as Mary Anne, but now that she became man he killed. This constant staring and the
barbarous, O’Brien displays that change repetition of O’Brien’s friend saying “stop
through dehumanization. staring” punches the fact that looking at a
dead man can unfortunately mess somebody’s
brain up.