The Things They Carried By Tim O Brien

950 Words4 Pages

The Things He Felt Written by Tim O’Brien and being a postwar novel, The Things They Carried differs highly from the other books associated with the same genre by its unique structure and distinctive approach towards events. The book does not have an uninterrupted flow, nor does it leave the audience with the satisfaction of knowing the exact truth. However, these lacks turn out being precisely what O’Brien aspires to accomplish. Throughout the novel, the narrator rotates around his memories “...clockwise as if in orbit”(133), not being able to identify a starting or an ending point, thus conveying his experiences to the reader in the same way he feels: blurry, repetitive and ambiguous. Offering a part of his past to the reader, he wishes …show more content…

However, O’Brien continually alters the truth, making facts dependant on his emotions. He does this by repetitions, adding up to the blurry atmosphere of his book. Writing about Kiowa’s death numerous times, the narrator repeats the same event with different realities. He first claims that Norman Bowker was the one who did not save Kiowa, creating a story of him driving aimlessly, not being able to forgive himself. Later he confesses that the narrator was the one who let Kiowa go, leading the audience to believe Bowker was a metaphor for his guilt and remorse. In the chapter “Speaking of Courage”, Bowker tries to symbolize his loss of Kiowa with the loss of Silver Star, wanting to ease his guilt by reducing the value of what is gone. Later in the chapter, there is the description of Bowker getting in the lake (148). Three chapters later, Tim O’Brien the narrator does the same thing in Vietnam, swimming in the field. Additionally, in the chapter “In The Field”, a “boy”, whom the audience supposes to be O’Brien, tries to symbolize his guilt over Kiowa with the loss of the picture of his girlfriend. Leaving the reader with the depiction of the same event and feelings with different characters and settings, altering the truths, O’Brien manipulates the structure and conventional expectations of the

Open Document