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Courage and Weakness in The Things They Carried

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The Things They Carried ​by Tim O’Brien draws a thin line between courage and cowardice despite the fact that the distinction is small. Courage is the ability to go up against fear; in the book, it identifies with numerous things and is portrayed as an ability that must be learned. It’s seen that bravery accompanies fear the same number of activities and individuals are spurred by disgrace as opposed to fearlessness. Weakness essentially signifies the absence of valiance in the book. In his book, O’Brien states, “Men killed, and died because they were embarrassed not to.” (O’Brien 20). This quote demonstrates that men in the Vietnam War didn’t go to the battle to be brave; they did it because they were hesitant to be called weaklings and to be humiliated before their companions.

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The content proposes that numerous fighters are, in fact, weaklings and would not face what they needed to in the event that it influences them to all have the earmarks of being quitters. Surveying O’Brien’s character, we will discover both fearlessness and weakness in his voyage. Initially, we can see that O’Brien depicts valor; if his draft sees that he wouldn’t like to go to the war, it would not be correct. “.. I was too good for this war. Too smart, too compassionate, too everything. It could not happen. I was above it” (O’Brien 39). Taking off to Canada demonstrated that he had self-valor as he stood firm against the war and did what he could to maintain a strategic distance from it particularly when every other person did the inverse.

Weakness as depicted by O’Brien was when he considered entering the war “… and then to Vietnam, where I was a soldier, and then home again. I survived but not a happy conclusion. I was a coward, I went to the war” (O’Brien 58). We also observe that the major reason that protected him from running away from the war was the dread that the people in his hometown where he grew up would consider him a quitter. The fact that the soldiers didn’t walk into war not as a result of their bravery but rather just on the grounds that they would not like to be humiliated before their peers can be shown by Curt Lemon’s character. This idea is delineated where he had the dental specialist haul out a flawlessly decent tooth remembering the goal was to prove that he was not scared.

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O’Brien showed that Lemon’s behavior could be described by the disgrace as opposed to boldness. It was noted that Lemon was terrified of dentists due to youth fears; he blacked out even before the dentist analyzed him. He couldn’t live with such shame among his associates; he additionally went to fake a toothache and had the tooth pulled out. Norman Bowker is presented as a gutsy officer who has experience and who battled ‘fearlessly’ against his adversaries. His fearlessness in battle had earned him various awards and acclaim from his father. In any case, he feels that he was not overcome enough to spare Kiowa from his horrifying demise when he suffocated in a sewer. The book portrays Norman experiencing serious difficulties when managing Kiowa’s demise just knowing that he continued advising himself that he couldn’t help Kiowa due to the scent. This shows the contrast among strength and weakness is somewhat similar to the scent for this situation. Unfit to get over the blame of not having the capacity to spare his companion, Bowker is spooky by his own evil presences and can’t live with himself. As characterized, strength is having the capacity to confront fear; bowman portrays weakness when he can’t go up against what occurred in the field when Kiowa kicked the bucket and hangs himself for not being able discover importance in his life any longer.

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This Essay is Graded More About Grading
Essay score:
Focus 3/4
Organization 2/4
Voice 3/4
Sentence Structure 3/4
Evidence and Details 4/4
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The introduction provides sufficient background for the topic. The thesis statement could have been phrased better to be stronger. The body has been divided according to the main points and contains well-cited evidence. This essay lacks a defined concluding paragraph. Few errors in grammar and punctuation were identified. The use of first-person language was also found, which should be avoided in formal academic writing.
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Courage and Weakness in The Things They Carried. (2019, August 08). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 5, 2023, from
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