For me, I found it hard to connect with the characters. I think this was because I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to be a soldier in Vietnam during that time. If I had to choose someone who I connected with it would probably be Tim, just because I feel like I would have had the same feelings that he had when he was drafted to war. I feel like he doesn’t dance around the hard things that he went through and he didn’t hide them, even though he wanted to. I like his honesty.
Tim uses many conventions in his writing. One I have noticed throughout the book is that he often uses repetition when making a point. I think this is so he gets his point across. The very first chapter is titled “The Things They Carried.’ Throughout this chapter numerous sentences began with “the things they carried.” In the chapter “How to Tell a True War Story,” once again numerous sentences began with this theme. Many sections began with “a true war story is.”
One passage that really stood out to me was on page 81. It read “And in the end, a true war story is never about war. It’s about sunlight. It’s about the special way that dawn spreads out on a river when you know you must cross the river and march into the mountains and do things you are afraid to do. It’s about love and memory. It’s about sorrow. It’s about sisters who never write back and people who never listen.” This was a very powerful passage in my mind. I think that it conveys the way Tim feels about the war, that it isn’t just a war. I think it shows that war isn’t just kill or be killed. It shows that war is everything but war.