Setting In The Things They Carried By Tim O Brien

964 Words4 Pages

The jungle itself seems to symbolize the effects of the war. The events that take place in it cause the soldiers to become paranoid, crazy, and even dangerous. Even once they return to their once stable home of the US, they are completely changed. The setting is very important to the book, because it creates an eerie and scary atmosphere in the story, that the author uses to show how the war truly affected the soldiers fighting in it. Overall, the setting of the story is complex, because it varies through the chapters. O’Brien uses the frightening Vietnam setting to illustrate how it affected soldiers fighting in it and also how horrifying the setting of it was. He also used the setting of the US to illustrate what kinds of lives the characters …show more content…

The characters throughout the book’s entirety speak in a very informal manner with bad grammar. Through O’Brien’s word choice the reader is able to make the conclusion that these soldiers were not educated scholars, but instead kids. It also creates a more conversational, rather than scholarly story. For example, when talking about Mary Anne, Eddie Diamond says that she had “D-cup guts, trainer-bra brains.” He easily could have stated Mary Anne is not intelligent, but very brave. However, the word choice creates a conversational tone, instead of …show more content…

In the chapter "The Man I Killed," O'Brien vividly describes a dead Vietnamese soldier that the character O'Brien killed while he was on watch. As O'Brien looks at the dead soldier, he notes that "his jaw was in his throat," that his hair was " swept upward into a cowlick at the rear of his skull," his neck was "open to the spinal cord," etc. By describing the dead soldier, O'Brien allows the reader to imagine how bloody, horrific, and gruesome the Vietnam war was. As O'Brien's company began to move on with the day like nothing was wrong, O'Brien was unable to stop thinking about the dead man. While he stared at the postmortem Viet Cong soldier, He imagined the young man as he was before he even became a soldier. O'Brien's regretful reaction to the gruesome appearance of the man he killed, shows that the war was a horrific and miserable experience. As O'Brien continued to think about the man he killed, he took note numerous times of a butterfly that landed on the dead man. The butterfly, in the story, is like its own little microcosm surrounded by a world of evil. It helps to develop the idea that even in an evil and horrible place like a war, there is still

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