The Man I Killed Analysis

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THE PURPOSE OF AMBIGUITY by Floor ‘The Man I Killed’ is a chapter in Tim O’Brien’s book filled with a collection of short stories named ‘The Things They Carried’(TTTC). TTTC contains autobiographic stories that occurred during Tim O’Brien’s served time in the 23rd infantry in the Vietnam War. The title of the chapter, ‘The Man I Killed’, implies that the narrator killed a man. Conversely, there are several passages in the text that suggest that the narrator did not kill anyone. This ambiguity found in the collected short stories by Tim O’Brien purposes to implement chaos, and therefore to let the reader experience the unsettling chaos of war. As aforesaid, the chapter ‘The Man I Killed’ entails the story in which Tim, the protagonist and…show more content…
Nobody knows how the enemy is going to react, nobody knows when danger will arise, soldiers do not know where they are, what will happen, what has happened, whether they are going home, and occasionally they do not even know what they are fighting for. Besides not knowing anything, countless people also disagree about what they do not know or about what they believe they do know, this creates even further chaos. This immense amount of chaos festers in the mind. The author decided to distribute the chaos in the book to form a truer war experience. The chaos that is distributed throughout the book is naturally not as upsetting, massive and powerful as in times of war, however, it does paint a better picture about the chaotic ambiance than non-ambiguous words ever could. Now the reader does not just gain war experience by reading stories concerning the experience of Tim O’Brien, the reader also lives a part of the war. The chaos adds a new and different dimension to the stories. Besides reading the experiences and imagining what it is like, the reader now as well feels how the chaos and uncertainty of war affect the brain, and how long the disturbance of not knowing what happened - even if the matter is fictional - can preside over the
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