“Spin,” the third chapter of The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien begins by saying that the war “wasn’t all terror and violence.” O’Brien then proceeds to tell many brief stories that present good moments from the war. One of the short stories O’Brien narrates is about the soldiers' experience with an elderly Vietnamese man they referred to as a “poppa-san” who was hired to lead them through a field of landmines on the Batangan Peninsula for five days. The text says, “We enlisted an old poppa-san to guide us through the mine fields out on the Batangan Peninsula. The old guy walked with a limp, slow and stooped over, but he knew where the safe spots were and where you had to be careful and where even if you were careful you could end up like popcorn.”(32).
By telling stories about others, he is not only saving the lives and memories of the deceased, but also his own. In the chapter “Notes”, O’Brien shares the story of Norman Bowker and explains that “It occurred to [him] that the act of writing had led [him] through a swirl of memories that might otherwise have ended in paralysis or worse. (152) Writing about the soldiers that Tim O’Brien fought alongside in the Vietnam is a therapeutic act that helps him cope with what happened, in a sense saving his own life and preventing the “worse” from happening. In more universal terms, O’Brien conveys that telling stories of his deceased childhood friend, Linda allowed him to ease his pain and confusion surrounding death by letting her live on through imagination. “ [He’s] skimming across the surface of [his] own history, moving fast, riding the melt between the blades, doing loops and spins, and when [he] take a high leap into the dark and come down thirty years later, [he] realizes it is as Tim trying to save Timmy’s life with a story.”
It is easier for the reader to make connections with the author when they can form an image of him and make connections between them and themselves. In addition, it shows that O’Brien has flashbacks just like everybody else. This quote highlights that’s the author is someone who the audience can relate
And as a writer now, I want to save Linda’s life. Not her body-her life. She died, of course” (O’Brien 222). As a fourth grader, he knew that Linda was going to die, but could not bring himself to accept it. He wanted to spend more time with the person he loved.
“To live is to change, to acquire the words of a story” suggests that living through those experiences changes you and makes you grow. Since you “acquire the words of a story,” you can tell that story to teach other people. If you do not reflect on what happened or you try to tell yourself it did not happen, you will not grow. Storytelling is basically a way of accepting what happened. Orleanna is “owning, disowning, recanting, recharting a hateful course of events to make sense of her own complicity.”
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.”
Truth The main characters in The Things They Carried are soldiers, watching people die every day. To lessen their fear of death, they do not pay much respect to the dead and treat the corpses as if they are live people; they demonstrate that the soul lives on even when the body does not. One of the ways the soul lives is through stories. In Tim O’Brien’s novel, The Things They Carried, the final chapter, “The Lives of the Dead”, is essential because it is a perfect conclusion.
There are many ways people cope with the loss of someone. Some people go through the 5 stages of grief and others try to embrace the sad loss of someone and see good come out of it. Tim O’Brien wrote “The Lives of The Dead” in order to preserve the memories of the dead by telling the stories of their lives. When O’Brien brings up specific people there is a story behind it because this is his way of coping with the loss of them. For example, throughout the whole story he was in Vietnam.
A lot happens in Tim O 'Brien short story "The Things They Carried", at first, the reader speculates what the short story is about and why it is called "The Things They Carried". The narrator Tim O 'Brien tells and describes all the things that the men have to carry while "in-country" during the Vietnam War in the1960 's. The text 's artistic value comes from its plot, characters, conflict, and style. In the plot of the story the protagonist, Tim O 'Brien starts by describing circumstances that happened while he was in Vietnam. In the beginning of "The Things They Carried" we are introduced to each character by the things they carry.
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.
Obrien keeps the deceased characters Linda, Kiowa, Ted Lavender, Curt and Timmy alive, through his memories, dreams and stories. In Tim O’Brien’s “Lives of the Dead,” the loss of innocence and the power of literacy are both prevalent themes. Symbols are often used in a story to mean more than its literary meaning; Linda’s red cap, in “Lives of the Dead,” is a symbol of innocence’s. Linda’s innocence affected neither her illness nor death. Linda was O’Brien’s childhood girlfriend; when she first found out she was sick and had cancer, she began to wear a red cap, every day.
In the book The Things They Carried, Tim O’brien explores various stories he experienced during his time serving in the Vietnam War. He goes in depth into the casualties of his fellow troops in order to analyze the significance and how it affected him and his friends psychologically. One of the many things he makes sure to include is the specific silence and sounds that occupies the tense situations they endure. Whether it is a death or a more uplifting moment, he never failed to include the recurring silence the environment produced. O’brien manipulates the use of silence throughout his novel to further enhance the reader 's imagination to get as close as they can to being as emotionally impacted the way O’brien was while experiencing the stories first-hand.
War was so much more than just war to O’Brien and he able to share this through his writing. " But this is true: stories can save us. ... in a story, which is a kind of dreaming, the dead sometimes smile and sit up and return to the world." (page
The authors want their audiences to use these tales and examples as life lessons and hope for them to utilize these sources in their future lives. These two ideas are presented through the use of figurative language, mainly metaphors. In addition, the similar tone of these pieces allows the author to connect more deeply with the readers. Toni Morrison’s Nobel lecture, folktales, and several poems illustrate how metaphors and tone are used to describe experience and caution the readers.