To be quite honest the first thing I thought of when I read the chapter In the Field was Easter Egg hunting. Every Easter children run through their front yard frantically in order to collect Easter Eggs and the goods that are in them. In this chapter, the whole squad is searching for their dead friend Kiowa who is buried in “shit” somewhere in a flooded field. Something about kids frantically searching for easter eggs reminded me of an army squad searching frantically for a long lost friend in a field of shit. Neither the little kids nor the squad would ever give up until all of the eggs were in their baskets.
The connection that I made to searching for Kiowa’s body and Easter Egg hunting led me to think about connections in character between Kiowa and Jesus. I found many ties between Kiowa and Jesus. Kiowa is described as the perfect warrior and an amazing kid. He carries a bible everywhere he goes, and he is a gentle and soft spoken man. Lieutenant Cross describes him as “...a fine soldier and a fine human being, a devout Baptist…(p.156)”. Cross complements Kiowa very often saying, “And Kiowa has been a splendid human being, the very best, intelligent and gentle and quiet-spoken. Very brave, too. And decent. (p.157)”. Jesus is also described as a model human being who is perfect. Kiowa might not be perfect, but he is a model citizen. Kiowa was friends with everyone in the squad and everyone respected him. Jesus also made many friends and was respected by many, however Jesus was also hated unlike Kiowa. I also found that Jesus and Kiowa died in similar ways. Both died a gruesome death for the things they believed in. Kiowa died supporting his country and the American cause, and Jesus died to relieve the people of their sins. Lieutenant Cross stated that Kiowa’s death was a “crime (p.156),” because such a good man did not deserve to die in such a horrible way. Both were resurrected in the end. Kiowa was literally lifted up from the shit field, and Jesus ascended into heaven. One of the most ironic similarities between Kiowa and Jesus is that the people that felt responsible for both of these great men’s death ended up killing themselves. What is even weirder is that they both hanged themselves. Both Judas and Norman Bowker committed suicide because they felt guilty for their friend’s death. Jesus and Kiowa had lasting effects on the people they interacted with.There is an overwhelming amount of evidence that O’Brien tried to relate Kiowa in a way to Jesus. Irony plays a huge role in the book The Things They Carried, and in this chapter irony is repeated over and over again.