Readers, especially those reading historical fiction, always crave to find believable stories and realistic characters. Tim O’Brien gives them this in “The Things They Carried.” Like war, people and their stories are often complex. This novel is a collection stories that include these complex characters and their in depth stories, both of which are essential when telling stories of the Vietnam War. Using techniques common to postmodern writers, literary techniques, and a collection of emotional truths, O’Brien helps readers understand a wide perspective from the war, which ultimately makes the fictional stories he tells more believable.
Hidden somewhere within the blurred lines of fiction and reality, lies a great war story trapped in the mind of a veteran. On a day to day basis, most are not willing to murder someone, but in the Vietnam War, America’s youth population was forced to after being pulled in by the draft. Author Tim O’Brien expertly blends the lines between fiction, reality, and their effects on psychological viewpoints in the series of short stories embedded within his novel, The Things They Carried. He forces the reader to rethink the purpose of storytelling and breaks down not only what it means to be human, but how mortality and experience influence the way we see our world. In general, he attempts to question why we choose to tell the stories in the way
Literary analysis America’s war heroes all have the same stories to tell but different tales. Prescribed with the same coloring page to fill in, and use their methods and colors to bring the image to life. This is the writing style and tactic used by Tim O’Brien in his novel, “The Things They Carried”. Steven Kaplan’s short story criticism, The Undying Certainty of the Narrator in Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, provides the audience with an understanding of O’Brien’s techniques used to share “true war” stories of the Vietnam War. Kaplan explains the multitude of stories shared in each of the individual characters, narration and concepts derived from their personal experiences while serving active combat duty during the Vietnam War,
Imagine being drafted to move thousands of miles away from the life you love to fight a war you hated. This is the unfortunate reality for Tim O’Brien In The Things They Carried. O’Brien explains his experiences of war in Vietnam, what it took to get him there, and his relationships with the other men in his platoon. He portrays guilt and pride through storytelling and intertwines the two by showing how the men often feel guilty for the actions they pursue or decisions they make based on their pride.
The Things They Carried is an interesting novel not like many others in that it is not one continuous story on a single plot line, but rather the novel is a collection of fictional short stories from a young soldier’s time stationed in Vietnam during the Vietnam War. The stories do not follow a specific order either, and they often are set in different time periods, like how Chapters 1 (The Things They Carried), 2 (Love), and 3 (Spin) are set in the time period when the main character, Tim O’Brien, is deployed in Vietnam, while Chapter 4 (On the Rainy River) is set before the war started right after Tim was drafted, and tells the story of him trying to escape the war. The stories tell the reader the story of the differing backgrounds of many
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.
Originally published in 1990, The Things They Carried is a collection of war stories that took place during the Vietnam War. Due to its accurate and honest depiction of war, it has been banned for crude language, violence, drug use, and sexual innuendo. The author, Tim O’Brien, was born in Austin, Minnesota in 1946. Due to his service in the United States military during the Vietnam War, O’Brien is able to depict the war in a more graphic, and realistic manner.
The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien is a collection of short stories about the Vietnam war. The title's significance refers to both the emotional and physical baggage that the characters in the stories carry. Although the soldiers carry heavy physical baggage, they also carry the heavy emotional loads of the war, such as shame, guilt and escapism.
O’Brien tells the readers about him reflecting back twenty years ago, he wonders if running away from the war were just events that happened in another dimension, he pictures himself writing a letter to his parents: “I’m finishing up a letter to my Parents that tells what I'm about to do and why I'm doing it and how sorry I am that I’d never found the courage to talk to them about it”(O’Brien 80). Even twenty years after his running from the war, O’Brien still feels sorry for not finding the courage to tell his parents about his decision of escaping to Canada to start a new life. O’Brien presented his outlook that even if someone was not directly involved in the war, this event had impacted them indirectly, for instance, how a person’s reaction to the war can create regret for important friends and
The things they carried is a novel by Tim O’Brien. About the Vietnam war. About the lives of people going there. It’s a collection of war stories. Some of them true, some of the untrue and that’s the main topic that’ll be discussed in this paper.
(119), and that “he could not picture himself doing…brave things. He hoped in his heart that he would never be tested”. This manifests the thoughts of O’Brien as, he too was fearful of going to war, and had no desire to fight, as well as preferred a classroom environment compared to a battlefield. In conclusion, the continuous repetition of the description of the soldier’s body represents the idea that this irrevocable action will forever be with O’Brien, and the minor details of the description serve to reveal different messages of the story.
“How to Tell a True War Story” and “Ambush” are stories that both explore on topics: truth, the real definition of a true war story, and the role of truth. O 'Brien starts off “How to Tell a True War Story” with “This is true.” Starting this story with such a bold sentence not only makes it seem more true, but to some extent, it acts as a comfort statement to the narrator’s own doubts, as if there were unspeakable uncertainties and lies of the narrator. The title of this story also comes into play, with a meta-fictional name “How to Tell a True War Story”, as if it were a guide, a manual, having a true war story tell the readers how to tell a true war story. However ironically, towards the middle of the story, us as
Moreover, O’Brien’s miscellaneous word choice, and fragmented sentence structure play a huge role in reflecting his thoughts on the war. It helps readers understand the significance of the chapter, and connect us to the author on a deeper level. O’Brien’s short, and repetitive sentences mirror his personal struggles, and allow the audience to learn more about him. For example, the last sentence of “Spin” is, “..nothing to remember except the story.” (39)
Chapter seven in Tim O’Brien’s novel The Things They Carried focuses on telling a true war story and what it requires to be true. O’Brien begins with a soldier, Rat Kiley, discussing a letter he wrote to his dead friend’s sister. In this letter, he exaggerates his friend, Curt Lemon, which prompts O’Brien into questioning the truth. As he recounts the death of Lemon, O’Brien cannot remember what exactly happened to him; he understands what occurred and how, but fails to recall the details. So, he tells the story four ways, each focusing on one specific detail, like how the sun shined. O’Brien then goes on to say that failure to remember and forgery of details take place in every war story, causing the truth to be questioned. O’Brien finishes