The Things They Carried

The Things They Carried Throughout the novel The Things They Carried we are shown an abundance of things that the soldiers had to carry with them. Mostly being physical there were also emotional and abstract things that they carried, as there was two wars that they were fighting. There was a physical war against the enemies, then there was an emotional war each fought within themselves. The physical were things they carried were stuff; like guns, grenades, medical supplies, ammo, ponchos, and claymores. Among the emotional and abstract included thoughts of home, the weight of being a leader of a team, and the fear of death.

As soldiers at war they relied on many “real” and “physical” items to be held on their person. There were common things that all the soldiers, whether new or not, carried as necessities. These included; steel helmets, a standard issue M16, a poncho (that could be used as protection from rain or a tent), can-openers, heat tabs, dog tags, mosquito repellent, packets of Kool-Aid, lighters, matches, C rations, Military Payment Certificates, and canteens of water. All together the items weight totaled at 12 to 18 pounds. The weight depended upon the habits and rate at which each soldier’s metabolism burned.(O’Brien) As I stated there were soldiers that had a faster metabolism rate, heavier in weight, and had certain habits they wanted to keep. Henry Dobbins was a heavy set man, so with him he carried more food than the others. His heavy figure also made him an excellent candidate to carry a heavy machine gun. Then there was Dave Jensen who carried a toothbrush, dental floss, and several small bars of soap. Ted Lavender had a habit of smoking dope, so he carried 6 or 7 ounces on him. Kiowa, a religious man, carried a New Testament with him.(O’Brien) Along with the things needed to survive the physical war there are those that carry things to survive the emotional war of being so far away from family and loved ones. For…