Prospectus and Annotated Bibliography

Topic: How Post-Trumatic stress Disorder in Vietnam Veterans in, The Things They carried.

Text: The Things They carired by Tim O’Brien


My research paper will be on the  post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Vietnam War Veterans. I want to talk about  the novel The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien of how people handle their feelings and emotions in times of difficulty and hardship.  Specifically, I will talk about the  pattern discussed in Tim O’Briens novel  of  one’s manner in which humans face the rough emotions they have to carry throughout their life. In order to support this theme, I will analyze the responses of different veterans who faced emotional stress during the Vietnam war. Using these responses, I will compare them to those who deserted the army and escaped in order to start a new life. They had to abandon their families and friends and migrated to neighboring countries to start a new life.

In my essay, I will argue about the soldiers who fought in Vietnam war and those who chose to start a new life by escaping. I will compare and contrast the lives between the two groups and how it affected them. For example, soldiers who were drafted to Vietnam had to go through a lot of conflicts such as emotional stress from the war which is discussed in the novel, The Things They Carried. The novel provides a first hand experience of different soldiers including O’Brien himself. By using textbooks and online sources, I will support my argument with details and evidence of the soldiers who went to the war and those who did not.


1. Interview with Tim O’Brien 33. Web. <>.

The website is an interview with Tim O’Brien and it discusses how Tim was drafted to the Vietnam war during his early life. Although he had the chance of deserting the army and his friends and family, he chose not to and eventually sent to fight in Vietnam. By using this interview of O’Brien, I will compare and contrast about the soldiers who fought in Vietnam and those who escaped to nearby country.

2.””Unraveling the Deeper Meaning”: Exile and the Embodied Poetics of Displacement in Tim O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried”” Web. <>.

This website talks about the novel “The things they carried” by Tim O’Brien. It supports my theme of the emotional stress the veterans in Vietnam had to go through. It supports my theme specially because it demonstrates the afterward results of emotional stress. Although the veterans escaped their life, they have to bear the emotional stress throughout their life, which is what is mostly discussed in the website.

3.”Truth and Fiction in Tim O’Brien’s “If I Die in a Combat Zone” and “The Things They Carried”” Web. <>.

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Post#3 self- consciousness

I’m in a rowboat on the lake in Central Park. Fortunately I’m not rowing the boat. I’m still in college, but soon I wont be, soon I’ll be living here, in New York City. I look up at all the buildings surrounding the park, and it crosses my mind that except for the man rowing the boat, I don’t know anyone in New York City. And I barely know the man in the boat. I wonder if I’m going to end up being one of those people you read about in newspapers, who lives in New York and never meets anyone and eventually dies and no one even notices until days later, when the smell drifts out into the hallway. I vow that someday I will know someone in New York City.” (Ephron 101)

This Paragragh has included some really great examples of self- consciousness which still occurs in today’s world. If you notice the author of this passage who happens to be Nora Ephron starts off with the word “I” and from there we can make prediction that she is talking about herself. When it come to describe something itself using the word “I” is exceptionally important that we use this word.  She is grabbing reader’s attention and literally put it only on herself  and noone else. The man who is  rowboating is completely stranger to her and we don’t even know the  name of that person. She is using the present tense  to make us connect with her in someway to show us as if it was happening right now which already happened in past. She just doesn’t use the self- consciousness in present tense but also use in future tense when she said “I’ll be living here in New York City. From this we can make very much true prediction about her future plans. This passage gives us clues as of where she is right now and where she will be in future and the way she expresses her feelings.

The way she feels when she is in boating is loneliness and we can conclude that from where she said “I wonder if I’m going to end up being one of those you read about in newspapers, who lives in New York and never meets anyone”. This shows us how eageraly she wants change those feelings and she wants to meet someone who she can express those feelings with. The way she has the passions  to change those feelings is encouraged by that she doesn’t wants die all alone by herself.

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             In a chilling night of May 1981, a young girl with all the dreams in her mind came out of her dorm room without knowing that a horrified future was waiting for her. As she writes in Alice Sebold’s Lucky, she was a totally different person the night after she was badly raped. Her real struggle started when she saw her rapist for the fist time few months later she was raped. She had to gathered all the courage she could possibly gather to take the culprit behind the bars. She is so vivid in her writing that that the readers can actually visualize the horrible thing happened to her and how she decided to take revenge after she saw her rapist. The way she describes her story, the readers can feel the same pain she went through and the relief when she saw the criminal. She showed how one needs to bring all the courage together when she saw the rapist. She could have either ignored the rapist when she saw and live her life without going through all the chaos or she could have chosen the more painful but right path to bring her rapist to the justice. The decided to pick the right way so the rapist can feel the pain by spending his rest of life behind the bars.

                        Even though she went through the post traumatic stress in order to bring her rapist to justice but she can live her life peacefully knowing that whoever ruined her life is also feeling the pain. It was the new start of her life as she says, “My life was over; my life had just begun.” (Sebold, 33). She wrote her story so nicely that even those people who have had not the experience of being raped feel like they are reading the story as it happened to them. That is the beauty of Alice Sebold’s Lucky. She tried to keep away her readers from her own thoughts and imaginations. She uses so intensified words that the readers feel as it is happening right in front of their eyes and they can’t do anything about it.

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