Vietnam, the heart and soul of teenage rebellion to the government for creating a draft that sent over the creative and intelligent youth, was a war that deemed to get rid of the political idea, communism, which spread as quick as the napalm that blazed over the serene green landscapes. The narrator of the story, Tim O'Brien, repeatedly recounts memories of the war, each with an added detail or an object that carried a significant amount of weight that makes the story seem more factual than what it seems. The soldiers carried loneliness, uncertainty of the truth of war, and the heavy burden of physical and emotion weight; Tim O'Brien uses war related imagery to symbolize the vim of storytelling in his book "The Things They Carried".
The objects they carried often weighed of necessity to protect them from the bullets escaping the barrel of a Vietcong soldier and of the safety, although the author said it as "the illusion of safety" keeping their emotions from objects that kept themselves intact harboring their emotions at bay away from the others in the platoon (O'Brien 235). The physical burdens they carried "presented itself whatever seemed appropriate as a means of killing or staying alive," raincoats prevented wet clothes, but the rain drenched the equipment with unnecessary weight, weapons and ammunition presented the best means of killing and staying alive; although, extra ammunition was necessary for some with fear of being at war (O'Brien 234). Not all of the objects they carried were physical objects. Memories from the past were often hiding in the bushes waiting still until the soldiers came to slash and reveal them with a machete. Memories flew like birds and insects from the bushes, overpowering the disturber. "They carried shameful memories" memories brought forth emotions and feelings (O'Brien 238). Lieutenant Cross, carried letters from a girl back home, Martha, who visited the same college as him.