How Does Tim O Brien Present The Overall Attitudes In The Things They Carried

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War, Belief and Emotion People comprehend war very differently; they either hate it, understand it, or love it; there are many literary works with stories depicting these points of view. In 1990, author Tim O’Brien described his view of war with his “work of fiction” The Things They Carried, a book supposedly based on his experiences in the Vietnam War. His descriptive and emotional work richly depicts the feelings and activities of several drafted soldiers in the Vietnam War. Twenty-two years later and based on an entirely different war, came American Sniper, the memoir of a sniper in the Iraq War, by Chris Kyle. Kyle’s proud and rhapsodizing work depicts his strong supportive feelings for the war and what he did there. While The Things …show more content…

Tim O’Brien uses seemingly true events to describe his overall emotions about the Vietnam war and what he and others did there. “I want you to know what I felt. I want you to know why story-truth is truer sometimes than happening-truth” (O’Brien, pg. 171). This quotation is the foundation of the entire book The Things They Carried, O’Brien uses this base to tell the story of many things that he witnessed. O’Brien’s verisimilitude is used to give real world emotions to a literary work. O’Brien understands that a lot is lost in translation, when sitting at home enjoying a book a reader does not fully understand the magnitude of what is happening, but if the author exaggerates then the mood of the reader may come closer to the tone of the author; the verisimilitude is more real to the audience and the author than the truth. The small changes also help the author to fill in the blanks of their memory and bring the seemingly dead past back to life. It is easier to get closure this way as O’Brien states here, “...I was young then and I was afraid to look. And now...I’m left with faceless responsibility and...grief.” (O’Brien pg. 172). O’Brien needs to put a face with the experience, the exaggerations and stories in which he can make one, help him to get over the overall experience. American Sniper on

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