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On The Rainy River Diction

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The novel The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien uses many effective rhetorical strategies throughout. In the chapter On the Rainy River, Tim O’Brien tells the audience a story he has never told anybody. Not even his parents, siblings or wife. He narrates the events and emotions that he experienced after receiving a war draft notice during the summer of 1968. O’Brien is ashamed about how he dealt with the notice and he feels as though he is “too good” to go to war. He spends the summer working in a horrible, nasty meatpacking plant in Minnesota. He is undecided and confused on whether or not he should go fight a war he doesn’t agree with. One day, O’Brien suddenly left work and drove north toward Canada. He ended up at a northern Minnesota river which separates Minnesota and Canada. He stayed at a small fishing resort called the Tip Top Lodge where…show more content…
O’Brien uses emotional diction when describing his own personal events and concerns. O’Brien uses emotional words to help the reader better understand his inner feelings and the context throughout the chapter. His use of empathetic words really helps the reader put themselves in his shoes. He uses first person pronouns like “I felt paralyzed” and “as if I were hurtling down a huge black funnel” (41) to help the audience understand his inner feelings. He uses an empathetic use of alliteration by narrating his inner feelings described as “a sudden swell of helplessness.” (55) He also reveals to us that he feared embarrassment. Everybody who reads this knows the pressure and expectations for something and not being able to do it. “All those eyes on me-the town, the whole universe-and I couldn't risk the embarrassment.” (57) He feels the guilt and pressures of everybody around him. He feels as though if he does not to go war, he would be seen as not “masculine” or heroic. This helps his emotions stand out and be known
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