The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien and Bright Copper Kettles by Vijay Seshadri

Literature is the creation of scripted work of languages, and philosophy. Literature must be examined to understand the meaning of its values It does not define actuality but further more divines it This purpose is to identify the conflict of individual verse individual from both literatures, The literary techniques in both literatures can be a representation of the different features moving towards the scheme. lt functions as food for thought and stimulant for imagination and innovation. Over all, I will identify the conflict and the literary technique establish in both the short story and the poem, Further more, I will define the different literary concepts behind the short story and poem.

Individual vs, individual conflicts can be distinguished in O’Brien’s “The Things We Carried” and Seshadri‘s “Bright Copper Kettles In O‘Brien’s short story, LT Cross battle within himself, try to figure the purpose of him being in Vietnam and his love for Martha LT Cross often daydream about Martha and it soon causes his fellow soldiers to lose their life, from his action.

Seshadri’s Character in “Bright Copper Kettles,” the individual is still trying to find peace with in him, for losing the love one of his. His character describes about the encounters he have with them during his nights, about how it is fascinating for him to be able to communicate with them First-person point of view, foreshadowing, and tone are literary techniques used to help determine the conflicts in both the short story and the poem.

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In “The Things We Carried” O’Brien starts off the story talking about his troops in a narrative person As Lt Cross comes across his fellow soldiers, he explains about the items they carry with them during their time in Vietnam. Depending on theirjob, most of the items the solders carry are to help assist them in the war, but other items along with those are their personal items to help them get through the war zone, Like any other modern war, all of the soldiers were equip with the basic “ steelvcentered, nylon—covered flak jacket, large compress bandage, green plastic poncho, pocket knife, dog tags, and of course their standard M»16 long gun”(0’Brien, 1990). When it comes to Lt Cross’s item, it is mostly the items that Martha

sends to him. For him all he wanted was to be back with Manha and spend time with here. So every thing that she sends him holds a sentimental value. The tone used in the story brings out the frustration and battle Lt Cross having to deal with while trying to make it back home He struggles to find reasons to fight in Vietnam and his feelings towards Martha, while the war progress Lt Cross found him hopeless Lt Cross expresses his emotions saying, “He felt shame. He hated himself He had loved Martha more than his men, and as a consequence Lavender was now dead, and this was something he would have to carry like a stone in his stomach for the rest of the war”(O’Brien, 1990). As Lt Cross encounter his soldiers, he gives a description of the items they are carrying and why they choose to carry those items, Rat Kiley a medic soldier, carrying a satchel filled medical supply, comic books, and M&M’s for the wounded ones Kiowa carried with him a “New Testament Bible,” as it may be his protection orjust because it is his religious belief, Lt Cross himself carries the 10-ounce letter sent from Martha. Lt Cross finds it troublesome hold on to the fate of him and Martha.

O’Brien’s foreshadowing can be extinguish clearly pinpointed, for when engaged in a war. Many casualties will exist, friendship will be made, and encountering many tear drops and blood shedi The things these soldiers carried are just a few items to help them with the trouble and fear for what lies ahead. Each individual’s tone varies from different occasions. The tone from Lt Cross’s frustration with his love for Martha, his confusion about fighting in the war, and his sorrow for losing his fellow comrades are few examples within the story. Bright Copper Kettles is also express in a first person point of view. Seshadri’s character talks about the passion he has for the decease ones. Seshadri “speaking languages living and dead”(Seshadri, 2010) can be stating that he is trapped in a world understanding both side of the world. He describe his affection towards able to communicate with the dead saying” this is one of my favorite thing”, He then starts to get offended talking about“

They’re dead, they don’t exist” “Why would they care?” The two last lines Seshdari wrote, “I could never see tomorrow. [was never told about the sorrow”. The conflict of Seshdari battling himself about the truth in what he discover, being unable to accept reality of the pain for the dead who were once alive. These literature techniques assisted in Visioning the conflict Seshdari had by the uncertain questioning. Seshadri’s foreshadowing takes place in the event of his characters connection towards those whom had be decease, His connection slowly deteriorates and soon his pain for those he lost has created hardship. The tone in this poem fluctuated through out the poem. Started out as a delighted moment he’s having, then as it progressed towards the end. His emotion builds up and he expressed the agony of losing his dear friends and family.

The characters’ emotions for the meeting deceases were happily shown that “I like it so much I sleep all the time”. The more the character express his or her relationship with those whom are no longer living, he or she starts to feel more sadden about it. As there was no guidance to aiding the situation, the character felt abandoned from society, With the solace the character stated, “I could never see tomorrow. I was never told about the sorrow“. O’Brien’s story took a while to state the problems and issue, while Seshdari ‘5 story took a while to identify his passion of the dead. Both writers used different techniques to point out the conflicts in their literature The Things We Carried was easier to follow and understand, Tim O’Brien utilize more of a historicism analysis for his short story.

As many people were aware of the troublesome and the events that happen during the Vietnam War. Bright Copper Kettle has a different mean to the story and is interoperated into a different content in which readers much fully examine to understand. Vijay Seshadri literary criticism engaged more in a psychological theory. Seshadri emphasize the importance of the poem, but wanted readers to further investigate the character. From the positive view able to still love the deceased to losing family and friends with such impact, The two stories have the same conflicts of having to deal with their own issues, but they way of approaching to fix these issues are accomplish differently. The common feeling they had was the conflict of having to hate what they love.


  1. Clugston, R, W, (2014). Journey into literature (2nd ed.) [Electronic version]. ReLrieved from O’Brien, Ti (1990),
  2. The things they carried Retrieved from: Clugston, R. W. (2014). Journey into literature (2nd ed.) [Electronic version]t Seshadri, V. (2010).
  3. Bright Copper Kettles. ReLrieved from: Clugston, R. W. (2014). Journey into literature (2nd ed.) [Electronic version],

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The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien and Bright Copper Kettles by Vijay Seshadri. (2022, Jul 10). Retrieved from

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