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Tim O Brien Field Trip Analysis

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In the novel, The Things They Carried, written by Tim O’Brien, the chapter “Field Trip” is a vital chapter even though it takes place after the Vietnam War. A reoccurring theme throughout the story is how several of the soldiers in the platoon handle the mental challenges accompanied by war. During the chapter “Field Trip,” the character O’Brien returns with his daughter Kathleen to visit Vietnam including where Kiowa died. Kathleen is a crucial character as she represents the purity of Americans during the time of the Vietnam War- not the purity of younger generations. “Field Trip” contains ideas of coping with the war’s events, and presents the state of mind soldiers were in while introducing Kathleen who symbolizes the innocence of Vietnam-era American citizens.
O’Brien takes Kathleen to see where Kiowa died, which is not only significant …show more content…
O’Brien claims that Kathleen enjoyed visiting “the obligatory tourist stops” (O’Brien, 174) but this changes when they visit Kiowa’s death site. Kathleen proceeds to ask if they can leave which exemplifies how she could not grasp what truly happened there. In her perspective, this trip was just a vacation and it did not have any real semimetal value. “The war was as remote to her as cavemen and dinosaurs” (O’Brien, 175). Kathleen symbolizes the innocence of the American society during the time of the conflict. Many believe that she is a symbol of the innocence of today’s generation and how the youth is very distant from this time period. If anything, we have a better understanding than the American citizens alive during the Vietnam War because of various books, plays, documentaries, movies and other modes of communication. From the play Miss Saigon to the movie Apocalypse Now to other books written by Tim O’Brien like If I Die in a Combat Zone, these give many different perceptions on this historic

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