How Does Tim O Brien Use Story Telling In The Things They Carried

778 Words4 Pages

It’s ironic that one would want to relive the horrors of war. Traditionally, a veteran would do anything in his power to forget everything he saw and experienced at war. However, for Tim O’Brien, it’s the exact opposite: Storytelling is the way that he copes, the way he keeps the dead alive, and the way he allows for outsiders to feel what he felt during the war. In The Things They Carried, O’Brien portrays the power of storytelling by using it to rehumanize the soldiers during the hardships of war. The long duration of war takes a toll on soldiers and they are forced to tuck their emotions into a place far away, and not feel anything. If these emotions drove their actions, they would never accomplish anything at war. They turn into dehumanized machines in order to survive the horrors of war. Writing and telling stories of war allow for them to feel emotions again, “But this too is true: stories can save us” (O’Brien 225). Human beings need to release their emotions, and these …show more content…

It is a way to carry their presence, and for the writers and listeners of the stories to feel as if they are still right next to them. O’Brien often refers to his stories as dreaming, “They’re all dead. But in a story, which is a kind of dreaming, the dead sometimes smile and sit up and return to the world” (225). This shows the similarities between dreaming and storytelling. Both are ways of keeping the dead alive, and ways to ensure that they’re not forgotten. These soldiers devote their lives to the war, and sadly they are easily forgotten. But for Tim O’Brien and various other authors, “We kept the dead alive with stories” (239). These stories are a way for dead friends and family members to seem alive again. The stories reveal their character and many of their best moments alive. O’Brien utilizes storytelling to cope with the death that surrounds him, and to keep their memory burning on

Open Document