"The Things They Carried" by Tim O'Brian

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Perception After the Fact Tim O'Brian's short story "The Things They Carried" is a description of military equipment that ground soldiers carried during the Vietnam War. O'Brian provides great detail about each piece of equipment including each item's purpose, and when it was used. To more clearly illustrate the challenge faced by the soldiers and the equipment they used, the story follows a plot about a platoon of men lead by First Lieutenant Jimmy Cross. …

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…battles, the word "safe" truly does not exist. War is a game of life and death which is why Cross should not blame himself for the death of Lavender. It was the enemy's bullet, not Cross's daydream, that caused Lavender's death. His men understood this and did not blame him. Instead they considered it Lavender's own fault for being high on tranquilizers and walking into the woods by himself, instead of going with a partner.