The Things They Carried Silence Analysis

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In the book The Things They Carried, Tim O’brien explores various stories he experienced during his time serving in the Vietnam War. He goes in depth into the casualties of his fellow troops in order to analyze the significance and how it affected him and his friends psychologically. One of the many things he makes sure to include is the specific silence and sounds that occupies the tense situations they endure. Whether it is a death or a more uplifting moment, he never failed to include the recurring silence the environment produced. O’brien manipulates the use of silence throughout his novel to further enhance the reader 's imagination to get as close as they can to being as emotionally impacted the way O’brien was while experiencing the stories first-hand. Silence alone plays a major role within the book in which it helps set up a contrast between the real and the fake, and the stories and the present. Throughout the entire book, O’brien seems to be invested in describing his situations as thoroughly as possible; sound especially he seems engulfed into, considering that in the book alone he …show more content…

In chapter 61, O’brien goes off to work for a man named Elroy, later finding himself on a boat with him where he begin to sob uncontrollably. He explains that Elroy “was a witness, like God, or like the gods, who look on in absolute silence as we live our lives, as we make our choices or fail to make them.” (page 61). During this story, O’brien was trying to establish a contrast between him and Elroy similar to his experience with Mitchell Sanders. O’brien’s loud sob had created a silence in Elroy that he could only observe. Elroy became a bystander, similar to God, he observed other quietly. The best thing for Elroy to do was to stay silent and let everything happen without judgement. Sometime the best thing to say is nothing at

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