The Things They Carried Rhetorical Analysis

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Hussein Alkhafaji 3/28/23 Paper 3 English Composition II Professor: Samuel Myung Tim O'Brien's short story The Things They Carried is engaging and thought-provoking, and it gives insight on the deep emotional toll that combat has on soldiers. O'Brien uses a complex and purposeful storytelling technique that enables the reader to feel the psychological loads that the troops in the story are bearing. Because the narrative is told from the first-person perspective, the reader and the characters feel particularly close to one another. Instead of solely emphasizing the characters' tangible possessions, the narrative method focuses on their emotional states as well as the broader concepts of memory and trauma. O'Brien creates a vivid and engaging universe through the use of strong imagery and thorough descriptions that takes the reader closer to the experiences of the soldiers.. This narrative technique is critical to conveying the central idea that the weight of emotional baggage is as heavy as physical objects. By exploring the complex emotional realities of the soldiers, O’Brien highlights the intangible and often ignored the …show more content…

O’Brien lists the items the soldiers are carrying, such as "matches, C-rations, malaria tablets, and two or three grenades." These descriptions create a sense of realism and specificity, as well as emphasize the weight and burden of the soldiers' physical possessions. The soldiers are described as carrying their emotions with them at all times, even when they are not actively participating in the conflict. Yet, the emphasis on these tangible goods also helps to underline the weight of the soldiers' emotional baggage, which is intangible but no less substantial. For example, the line "They were afraid of dying but they were even more afraid to show it" emphasizes the soldiers' vulnerability and

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