How Does Tim O Brien Use Repetition In The Things They Carried

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When soldiers returned home from the Vietnam War in the 1970s they were not met with the fanfare and celebration that past generations had received, but instead faced judgment, persecution, and limited treatments for their physical and emotional traumas. Most soldiers faced feelings of guilt, depression, and post-traumatic stress due to the gruesome violence and many other hardships of combat. The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien is a series of vignettes about a regiment of men serving in Vietnam at the height of the war. O’Brien, a veteran himself, is familiar with the suffering many experienced due to the horrors of war and uses literary devices to emphasize this pain and suffering. O'brien’s application of repetition conveys the emotional trauma war has on a soldier’s state of mind. …show more content…

These emotions are shown in the Vignette “The Things They Carried” where O’Brien’s repetition of “Ted Lavender is dead” and “Boom-down...Like cement” (O'Brien, “The Things They Carried” ) serve to express the characters inability to process the traumatic events unfolding in front of them. O'Brien expresses his fixation on the event at the end of almost every paragraph when he returns to the fact that his comrade has died. The focus on the childlike description of Lavender's death as a “boom” expresses the soldier's failure to move past the most basic elements of his death. The repetition of these juvenile expressions depicts their inability to feel genuine sadness and how they instead focus on literal aspects such as the noise his body made when it hit the ground due to their confusion over their true

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