Imagery In The Things They Carried

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The Things They Carried, written by Tim O’Brien, illustrates the experiences of a man and his comrades throughout the war in Vietnam. Tim O’Brien actually served in the war, so he had a phenomenal background when it came to telling the true story about the war. In his novel, Tim O’Brien uses imagery to portray every necessary detail about the war and provide the reader with a true depiction of the war in Vietnam. O’Brien starts out the book by describing everything he and his comrades carry around with them during the war. Immediately once the book starts, so does his use of imagery. On one of the first pages of the book O’Brien describes the things they carry by saying, “The things they carried were largely determined by necessity. Among …show more content…

In the chapter when he describes the man he kills, he talks about the state of the dead body by saying, “His jaw was in his throat, his upper lip and teeth were gone, his one eye was shut, his other eye was a star-shaped hole…the skin at his left cheek was peeled back in three ragged strips, his right cheek was smooth and hairless, there was a butterfly on his chin, his neck was open to the spinal cord and the blood there was thick and shiny and it was this wound that had killed him” (O’Brien Chapter 11). This brutal and horrifying imagery displays an irrefutable element of truth to O’Brien’s writing. Not only does this imagery highlight the truth to his writing, but it also sheds light on the brutal truth about the war in Vietnam. By using imagery as such a strong rhetorical device in his writing, he gives the average person a taste of just how barbaric and cruel Vietnam felt for the people who experience the war first hand on either side of the fighting. Tim O’Brien gives a very detailed and intense description of his time fighting in Vietnam during their war with America. O’Brien describes certain objects or events in his novels that can come only from memory not imagination. Tim O’Brien uses the rhetoric device of imagery to add a deeper truth to his novel and immerse the reader in the horrors of the

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