Innocence In The Things They Carried By Tim O Brien

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As people mature and age, they learn from life and become more knowledgeable through experience. These experiences are not always wonderful and some do not have positive impacts on a human or on their psyche. Innocence is the opposite of having these experiences of pain and sadness in the world from which knowledge is gained. It is a purity that many people lose as they grow older. However, this innocence and purity can be retained or taken back for periods of time through the telling of stories and through the language used to tell them. In the novel The Things They Carried, the author, Tim O’Brien, explores storytelling, the past and the present to help him cope with the struggles of war and to regain his innocence. In the section entitled “The Lives of the Dead” from “Linda was nine then…” to “But he was dead.” in the novel, The Things They Carried, O’Brien uses language and storytelling to create a portrait of innocence. Tim …show more content…

The foreshadowing helps to show the reader clues that Timmy misses at the time due to his innocence. One of the first instances of foreshadowing in the passage is when the narrator, Timmy, goes on his first date with Linda and his parents. While they are in the car Timmy notices Linda’s cap that she is wearing, he intends to compliment her and says “Jeez…What a cap.”(O’Brien p.217). After he says this Linda smiles but his mother turns around to look at Timmy. He tells us she looked at him “as if I’d brought up some horrible secret.” (O’Brien p.217). What Timmy is too young and innocent to understand at the time is that Linda wears this cap to hide her scars from her cancer. Timmy is too innocent to think that there is anything odd about the cap even when Linda continues to wear it every day to school. This instance of foreshadowing creates a portrait of innocence due to Timmy’s young

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