The Things They Carried Rhetorical Analysis Essay

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Rhetorical Analysis Essay for ‘The Things They Carried’
Tim O'Brien's “The Things They Carried,” tells a story about the lives of young soldiers during the Vietnam War. The narrator tells his story from first person, marking all his adventures and experiences of him and his platoon throughout his time serving in the war and after it. In his chapter, ‘In the Field,’ O’Brien uses metaphors, diction, and syntax to convey that experiencing direct contact with death brings you closer to life’s reality.
O’Brien introduces the chapter with describing the search for Kiowa’s body, who was killed by a grenade. He conveys that “the rain was the war and you had to fight it”. This metaphor emphasizes the battle they were in. Fighting the rain was like …show more content…

Tim O'Brien used strong language and harsh diction to emphasize Azar's point of view to his audience. Before finding Kiowa's body, Azar mocks that this was a humorous irony because it was "shit field" and that his body "was wasted in waste", clearly disassociating from the gruesome reality of his death. As soon as Kiowa's body was located, the sight of the actual body makes him feel terrible enough to apologize saying "those foolish jokes - I didn't mean anything". Tim O’Brien uses strong and direct diction to describe the severity of Kiowas death and the effect it had on the platoon. His use of direct language allows the reader to experience the scene from his and his platoon’s perspective. This occurrence during his service as a soldier brought him back to reality that he was in. He finally feels the guilt and pain that the other men have been carrying with them about this incident and about Vietnam in …show more content…

Cross approaches him and expresses sorrow, to which he asks, "What about Billie? "My girl, it's the only photo I have left," shocking Cross, who believed he was freaking out about Kiowa's death. Cross does not appear to be furious, even though the soldier is more upset by the loss of his ex-girlfriend’s photo than by the loss of his fellow soldier. The soldier exclaims, "she won't [even] send another one, she's not my girl anymore," in response to Cross's idea of asking her for another one. This incident in the chapter leads the young soldier to confront his reality: the girl he loves no longer loves him. He could pretend when he had the photo, but when he lost the picture, everything fell apart. O'Brien depicts the young soldier as no longer being in the reality of the conflict, but rather in his own life's reality, which he disliked but had to accept, leading the reader to finally understand by the end of the chapter that the war may not have killed them, but it ruined anything they had before, leaving them with nothing when they were

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