Things They Carried By Tim O Brien: Chapter Analysis

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Right from the first few sentences the author already starts to impress. There is a mix between the writer 's memoir and autobiography. With a memoir a writer will usually recount scenes from his or her own life. The way the writer writes depends on the conditions of the mental and emotional for the writer. When he starts off saying that "this is one story I 've never told before" signals two points to the reader. First, the story builds a confessional tone and creates an immediate empathy between the reader and the O 'Brien character. Second, in the context of the next chapter, the reader knows that this is an unresolved story, perhaps a fragment of memory that, given O 'Brien 's attitude of storytelling, is being crafted into a story as a means for understanding the events of the past. But the story isn 't abruptly moving…show more content…
The metaphor of the pork product assembly line also extends to the military machine that drafts soldiers and sends them to war. In the story O 'Brien sets up paradoxical relationships that are revisited in various forms throughout the novel. One such paradox is that of courage and fear. He explains that he was "ashamed to be doing the right thing" in following his conscience and going to Canada. This metafictive means of imposing meaning on moral disorder and personal conflict is not the only storytelling O 'Brien does in this chapter. He actually tries to do the same thing in the middle of the story “On the Rainy River”, he "slipped out of his own skin" and watched himself (much like Elroy did) in his attempts to decide whether he should escape to Canada. At the end of the chapter, however, the importance of the physicality of "O 'Brien" reemerges. O 'Brien was literally paralyzed as he tried to force himself from the boat. So it shows that he had denied his own feelings and submitted to the stories of other people, like the older generation of veterans whom he despises, and to what he considered cowardice. At least until finally
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