Tim O Brien Quotes And Analysis

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How can one tell if something is true or not? How can one tell if what you hear or read is pure fiction or reality? These are questions I often asked myself when I read “The Things they Carried” by Tim O’Brien. You begin to ask these questions throughout the book but begin to realize that these type of questions don't matter. What matters is the deeper meaning that the author is trying to convey. O’Brien often describes this as “accurate representation,” he does this throughout his book within his portrayals of each individual story or character. What I mean by this is that the author gives an truthful story of what happened, he may add a few extra details but at the end it is the truth in the way he perceives it and the way he wants his readers …show more content…

He presents an accurate portrayal in the chapter nine (Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong). This is a story about a girl named Marry Anne Bell, she is the girl friend of Mark Fossie (a soldier who's part of the medical unit) and apparently she was brought over to Vietnam because he sneaked her to his station. But as Marry Anne stays in Vietnam she starts to hang out with the special forces unit, she begins to change from a innocent bubbly girl to a person who lusts for war and death. She didn't have the same look, Rat describes her change on page 102 “ I saw those eyes of her, I saw how she wasn’t even the same person no more.” On page 106 it shows the difference in personality by just the words she chose to say “Sometimes I want to eat this place. the whole country - the dirt, the death - I jus want to swallow it and have it there inside me. That’s how I feel.” You may not believe that a civilian girl was allowed to stay in the military and hanged out with special forces, but it is authentic. Authentic in the way where this a accurate portrayal of how someone an average soldier could be affected by war psychologically, changing their personality to the complete opposite of what it …show more content…

In chapter twenty-one (The Night Life) it describes of how soldiers needed to live the “night life.” In order from being seen from the enemy soldiers were required to travel in the night of Vietnam while they slept in day. But except in Vietnam when you traveled at night it was like seeing nothing but total blackness, Sanders described it as you couldn't tell when your eyes were close or open. This darkness had a total effect psychologically on Rat. He went crazy thinking he might get lost in the dark and die, imagining his corpse getting eaten by bugs. On page 211 Rat states “I start seeing my body. Chunks of myself. My own heart, my own kidneys. It’s like - I don't know - its like staring into this huge black crystal. One of these nights ill be lying dead out there in the dark and nobody’ll find me except the bugs - I can see it - I can see the goddamn bugs chewing tunnels through me - I can see the mongooses munching on my bones. I swear, it’s too much. I cant keep seeing myself dead.” This is a very sad accurate portrayal that could happen to a soldier, you go mentally crazy where you cant take it anymore like poor Rat

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