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Things they Carried "Man I Killed" Chapter Analysis

In the chapter, “The Man I Killed”, Tim O’Brien narrates a story of his confession. His use of third person prompts the readers to make inferences on how O’Brien is truly feeling. As the guilt of killing the young vietnamese soldier sets in, O’Brien thoughts and emotions split apart into two paths. One part of his mind is telling him that he had no other choice than to kill him because it is a war, and the other part is telling him that he had killed a young innocent man who could have become a scholar that one day could have married his school lover. O’Brien entangles himself in a series of differing emotions which causes him to break down and lose sight of hope. Moreover O’Brien’s guilt grew larger as he began imagining the man’s life because he saw they shared similarities. Both assumed their duties to fight in the war to please the family and were too cowardly to deviate from what was considered “right”.

Things They Carried "Sweetheart of Song Tra Bong" Chapter Analysis

In the second half of the chapter “Sweetheart of Song Tra Bong”, Tim O’Brien depicts the deteriorating relationship between Mark Fossie and Mary Anne, along with her transformation to the setting of the war.   The relationship between Mark and Mary starts to take a wrong turn when Mary begins to gain a stronger feel for the war environment around her. She slowly becomes absorbed into the ambiance of the Vietnamese culture which causes her to engage herself into more war activities such as ambushing. The tensions between the two grows higher as the days passed, and “in the presence of others, at least, they kept on their masks” (O’Brien, 99). O’Brien’s illustration of their worsening relationship can be applied to those in today’s society. In front of friends and family, couples disguise their disputes with fake smiles to create an outward appearance that appears to be happy. No one wants to be caught by the eyes of others in the middle of a break up.   
In this story, Tim O'Brien de…