Summary Of The Things They Carried By Tim O Brien

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Tim O’Brien’s, The Things They Carried, takes the act of revealing the uncertainties about war one step further. He does this in a unique way with the technique of imagination. The use of this technique is to reveal a world of imagination that is truer than the actual facts stated. It hooks the reader and allows the reader to see the connections of how O’Brien felt before, during, and after the war. More so, the main focus of O’Brien switching between what is real and what’s not, is to tell the real truth and story truth. He wants the readers to feel what he felt. He tells these stories to deal with his guilt. It first starts off with Tim O’Brien receiving his draft notice, “In June 1968…I was drafted to fight a war I hated.” (O’Brien 1990, …show more content…

The reason for this is because they are detached and the listener hearing the story will not expect it to be true, therefore the ones listening won’t believe them. This is illustrated when O’Brien tells a story about a group of men on a listening post in the jungle. The men think they hear an enemy concert, “And every night they keep hearing that crazyass gook concert…” (Ibid., 70). Of course we see this as not possible, but it shows the unreal perceptions that the men can endure while under stress, “Naturally they get nervous. One guy sticks juicy fruits in his ears. Another guy almost flips.” (Ibid, 70). The bad thing about this, is that the men can’t report the music. They have to lie there in the fog and keep quiet. O’Brien hints how hard it is to be quiet for a long period of time. They can’t joke around to “make it go away”, they cannot talk (maybe a whisper here and there) but it mainly is just listening, “All they do is listen.” (Ibid., 70). These experiences illustrate the perceptions that are unreal that the men face while they are under …show more content…

By doing so, he ironically constructs a poignant set of truths. The significance of his is that it shows his experiences before, during, and after the war. But it also showed something far larger than his experiences. This book shows the nature of storytelling, truth, memory, and imagination in general. Going to this war questioned his own motives, and this is how we truly see what this man went through. This primary source is useful to show his decisions and the cause and effect of them. Most primary sources don’t show an emotional factor that can connect to the readers and show how the war in Vietnam affected O’Brien and others both immediate and long term. The imagination factor that was used tells us that history can be told through stories that aren’t true. It ultimately showed the relationship between fiction and reality. The effects of the unreal stories shows the significance of O’Brien’s writing about his experiences in Vietnam. O'Brien's character is able to find a medium in which he can sort through his emotions. He says, "By telling stories, you objectify your own experience. You separate it from yourself. You pin down certain truths" (Ibid., 158). He does not look at his stories as therapy, he recounts his stories since they are a part of his past, and who he is now is the direct result of them. This primary source shows to be useful in

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