O’Brien sets a focus more on the emotional impact the war has overall. He practically voids the notion of addressing historical events or facts. Nothing in the novel was ever told in complete truth. It primarily consisted of sentimental stories and intriguing anecdotes of the soldiers. O’Brien attains this powerful emotional appeal through the usage of vivid details such as imagery, character development, and accentuates the impact that the war had on it’s soldiers.
Metafiction allows writers like Tim O’Brien to manipulate what is held to be truth, and fabricate certain details in an attempt to enhance or reinforce the meaning of a story. There is no doubt that O’Brien actually went to Vietnam, however, there is some doubt that events that occurred within the text actually happened. When addressing these occurrences, he uses language that leads the reader to believe that the account itself may be fictional. For example, in “How to Tell a True War Story” alone, O’Brien essentially convinces the reader that many of his accounts in Vietnam are fabricated. He goes to the extent of saying things like: “In many cases a true war story cannot be
“The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien falls into the new historism category based on the different forms of discourse. For example, O’Brien often writes about the various soldiers of Alpha company and the various things they carried them in addition to why they carried them. This provides a helpful insight because we are able to see the differences of this squad of men, whether it is their height, build or religious preferences, the things they carry are all a piece of that individuals character. Although this story was produced in 1990 it calls on the experiences of the author and the validity of his experiences. After graduating summa cum laude from Malacester College in 1968, O’Brien was drafted into the United States Army where he served
The Power of Fiction in The Things They Carried Tim O’Brien, a veteran of The Vietnam War, and his experience has provided the literary world with a book called The Things They Carried. The book was written with a specific focus on the truths and false-truths of the Vietnam War and the stories that follow. These truths tied into untruths are continually highlighted by multiple uses of hyperbole seen throughout O’Brien’s short stories. This reveals the stories to be lies, but lies with the purpose to tell a story with a meaning that is backed by truth, the true feelings of the soldiers, displayed as a means of experience for readers. Tim O’Brien intends to pull the readers from truth as a way to help readers fully understand the real feelings that the perilous war created.
Tim O’Brien wanted people to understand, and feel what it was like to be in the war, so he wrote the short story “Where Have You Gone, Charming Billy?” He wanted his readers to understand how war such a isolated time, also how anxious all of the soldiers were of being heard. One wrong move and they could be dead. Tim also wanted everyone to realize how intense war is, all the soldiers had to be as silent as possible to stay
O’Brien expresses the men’s feelings towards their significant others back home and how it affects them while stationed far away from their safe place. Also, he reveals differences in truths and fiction within a story. Making sure people know and remember his team the way he did was one of O’Brien’s purposes of writing this book. He did not want what happened to them to be forgotten or ignored. The author’s claim as it pertains to the Vietnam War is that memories can be a good and a bad thing, they don’t necessarily have to be the whole truth, and remembrance is an important key to keeping legacies going.
This leads O’Brien to claim that the moral of a story cannot be separated from the actual story and that the significance of a story being true or not is whether or not you believe it in your stomach. O’Brien insists that a true story is not moral and informs us to
. Tim O'Brien's most recent book, The Things They Carried, begins with a litany of items that the soldiers "hump" in the Vietnam War - assorted weapons, dog tags, flak jackets, ear plugs, cigarettes, insect repellent, letters, can openers, C-rations, jungle boots, maps, medical supplies, and explosives as well as memories, reputations, and personal histories. In addition, the reader soon learns, the soldiers also carry stories: stories that connect "the past to the future" (40), stories that can "make
The novel The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien uses many effective rhetorical strategies throughout. In the chapter On the Rainy River, Tim O’Brien tells the audience a story he has never told anybody. Not even his parents, siblings or wife. He narrates the events and emotions that he experienced after receiving a war draft notice during the summer of 1968. O’Brien is ashamed about how he dealt with the notice and he feels as though he is “too good” to go to war.
Tim O’Brien never lies. While we realise at the end of the book that Kiowa, Mitchell Sanders and Rat Kiley are all fictional characters, O’Brien is actually trying to tell us that there is a lot more truth hidden in these imagined characters than we think. This suggests that the experiences he went through were so traumatic, the only way to describe it was through the projection of fictional characters. O’Brien explores the relationship between war experiences and storytelling by blurring the lines between truth and fiction. While storytelling can change and shape a reader’s opinions and perspective, it might also be the closest in helping O’Brien cope with the complexity of war experiences, where the concepts like moral and immorality are being distorted.