In chapter nine of Tim O 'Brien 's The Things They Carried, O’Brien tells a second-hand story of a girl, Mary Anne, who is called over to Vietnam by her boyfriend. She transitions from an effervescent, little girl into a confident, passionate-for-war woman who does things her former-self could not even fathom, like going out on ambushes and clipping arteries. Although Mary Anne only appears in one chapter, she proves to be a crucial character in the novel. She symbolizes how war changes people. Every soldier is innocent at first, then changes into someone who is unrecognizable, someone who is desensitized to bloodshed, gore, and murder. This chapter also touches on the combined themes of truth and storytelling. With the story being so
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In Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, the author retells the chilling, and oftentimes gruesome, experiences of the Vietnam war. He utilizes many anecdotes and other rhetorical devices in his stories to paint the image of what war is really like to people who have never experienced it. In the short stories “Spin,” “The Man I Killed,” and “ ,” O’Brien gives reader the perfect understanding of the Vietnam by placing them directly into the war itself. In “Spin,” O’Brien expresses the general theme of war being boring and unpredictable, as well as the soldiers being young and unpredictable.
Mary Anne came on to the base as an aid to the Americans, but later on she leaves to become “part of the land”. In her time aiding the American base she ponders about the Vietnamese people and their culture. All the other characters, especially the American soldiers, disregarded the Vietnamese, and Mary Anne’s profound interest in them. Mary Anne’s curiosity for the Vietnamese people was often overlooked by the American soldiers because of the possible dangers of engaging with the Viet Cong. Her interest and compassion for the Vietnamese opens Mary Anne to ask, “‘Listen, they can’t be that bad’ […] ‘they’re human beings, aren’t they?
Author Tim O’Brien once expressed, “It can be argued, for instance, that [the Vietnam] war is grotesque. But in truth war is also beauty….a powerful, implacable beauty—and a true war story will tell the truth about this, though the truth is ugly”(O’Brien 77). The breathtaking yet sanguinary jungles and devastating guerilla warfare of the Vietnam War had a particular grandeur that overwhelmed its victims, and the author of The Things They Carried demonstrates that element throughout many passages in his collection of short stories. In Tim O’Brien’s historical novel The Things They Carried, he uses the clash of breathtaking beauty with horrendous imagery and grim concepts to establish the theme of the dark beauty of war through the lens of his
The Stories Told by the Soldiers In the book The Things We Carried by Tim O'Brien, he tells the reader stories about his experience in the Vietnam war. He tells stories about before, during and after the war. O’Brien explains his feelings towards the war by hinting it in many of his stories. He uses juxtaposition, diction, irony, metafiction, and repetition.
I do not believe that every woman during 1812 was a stay at home wife that answered every whim her husband laid out for her. Therefore, much as I said in my discussion post, "some women participated in the battles as soldiers while others spied on the enemies. " Nevertheless, Mary Pickersgill is an excellent example of women who resided in 1812 era who created a variant of the American flag, which many sought as a symbol of freedom and motivation for the soldier. Additionally, after the death of Mary’s husband, she decided to leave her matrimonial home in Baltimore, and move to Philadelphia to fend for her daughter and elderly mother.
The things they carried is a novel by Tim O’Brien. About the Vietnam war. About the lives of people going there. It’s a collection of war stories. Some of them true, some of the untrue and that’s the main topic that’ll be discussed in this paper.
In November of 1955, the United States entered arguably one of the most horrific and violent wars in history. The Vietnam War is documented as having claimed about 58,000 American lives and more than 3 million Vietnamese lives. Soldiers and innocent civilians alike were brutally slain and tortured. The atrocities of such a war are near incomprehensible to those who didn’t experience it firsthand. For this reason, Tim O’Brien, Vietnam War veteran, tries to bring to light the true horrors of war in his fiction novel The Things They Carried.
It is hard to tell what is true and not true in a novel, especially when the author says, “Often the crazy stuff is true and the normal stuff isn't, because the normal stuff is necessary to make you believe the truly incredible craziness” (68). The character Mary Anne Bell was too crazy for this novel though. The most unrealistic characters in The Things They Carried is Mary Anne Bell because she went to the war as a civilian not a soldier, embodies the theme loss of innocence, and there are other character that feel the same loss. There are many events that take place that makes Mary Anne an implausible character. The whole reason that she comes to Vietnam is that she is visiting her boyfriend, and not even the other soldiers believe Rat
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.
Pure garbage. You got to get rid of that sexist attitude” (102). Here O’brien portrays the idea that women are characterized as sweet and peaceful beings with no violent thoughts and actions, yet, here Mary Anne is simply a regular girl who has become swallowed by the war as has happened to many men showing the false expectations society holds against women and their abilities. She is transformed by the war and has ironically become hungrier for adventure than her soldier boyfriend who had brought her over to be a comfort for him while he was in the midst of war.
Tim O’Brien’s novel, The Things They Carried, reflects on how the Vietnam War changed traditional gender expectations, particularly how the idea of “masculinity” was challenged both directly and indirectly throughout the war. O’Brien uses his own experience to tell a war story—one of emotion, struggle, and near insanity—and it doesn’t have a “happy ending”. Throughout the novel, Tim O’Brien portrays
The Women in Their Lives - A Vietnam War Experience The men in the frontlines would not have been successful if it were not for the women in their life. “Things They Carried ” is a collection of short fictitious stories written by Tim O'Brien. All the stories in the book are about the men who served in the Vietnam war and its influence on women that come in their life. These stories talk about the ambiguous nature of the war, the inadequacy of plain and absolute facts.
But Tim O’brien flips those ideas upside down using the chapter “How To Tell A True War Story” in The Things They Carried. The reader learns of a young man whose best friend dies in war, and how he writes a letter to the sister about his life, only to never get one in return. Throughout this chapter, the reader learns how truly contradictory the idea of a “true war story” really is. With a reflective and didactic tone, Tim O’brien effectively teaches those who have not fought in a war how to tell a true war story-- that “a
Psychological Warfare in The Things They Carried Unless you have been in war or have read The Things They Carried, you can't fully understand the psychological toll on a person's mind and body, you can't understand the psychological hardship soldiers go through in war. However, The Things They Carried, by Tim O'Brien, is written to where it shows the overall psychological effects of war on soldiers in and out of Vietnam; as shown throughout the story, the recurring themes of trauma, love, and guilt give the clear psychological implications of war.
Hidden somewhere within the blurred lines of fiction and reality, lies a great war story trapped in the mind of a veteran. On a day to day basis, most are not willing to murder someone, but in the Vietnam War, America’s youth population was forced to after being pulled in by the draft. Author Tim O’Brien expertly blends the lines between fiction, reality, and their effects on psychological viewpoints in the series of short stories embedded within his novel, The Things They Carried. He forces the reader to rethink the purpose of storytelling and breaks down not only what it means to be human, but how mortality and experience influence the way we see our world. In general, he attempts to question why we choose to tell the stories in the way