Page Number and Citation: It is like a tape on loop. You take your material where you find it, which is in your life, at the intersection of past and present.
The work is simultaneously a war autobiography, writer's memoir, and group of fictional short stories. Subtitled "A Work of Fiction," O'Brien immediately and deliberately blurs the line between fact and fiction by dedicating the novel to individuals that the reader soon discovers are the novel's fictional characters.
To further complicate the genre blending and blurring between fiction and reality, O'Brien creates a protagonist, a Vietnam veteran, named "Tim O'Brien.
The originality and innovation of O'Brien's invented form are what make the novel particularly compelling because its main theme — more so than even the Vietnam War — is the act of storytelling. Storytelling becomes an expression of memory and a catharsis of the past.
Many characters in the novel seek resolution of some kind.
The Things they Carried is an astounding book that leaves no doubt in your mind on the true nature of war. There is no glory and it’s horror has endless depths. It can’t be an easy thing to write personal war stories – especially painful, gut . The opening piece, “The Things They Carried,” is a list that focuses on everything carried into battle by each soldier in the book, ranging from such items as jungle boots and personal letters. Partly catharsis, partly communication, it was a way of grabbing people by the shirt and explaining exactly what had happened to me, how I’d allowed myself to get dragged into a wrong war, all the mistakes I’d made, all the terrible things I had seen and done.
Readers should note the designations used in this study guide to distinguish between the author, Tim O'Brien, and the fictionalized character, "Tim O'Brien," who is the main character of the novel. While O'Brien and "O'Brien" share a number of similarities, readers should remember that the work is a novel and not an autobiography of the writer who wrote it.
Instead, the novel is presented as the autobiography of the fictional character. The medium becomes part of the novel's message; the unreliable protagonist "Tim O'Brien" continually questions the veracity of the stories he tells and the hearsay he retells, causing, in turn, the readers to question the veracity of the very stories that O'Brien confronts them with.
For example, at one point we believe O'Brien, such as when he describes his fear and shock after killing a Vietnamese soldier, but he then challenges us by casting doubt on the soldier's life and existence.
The act of storytelling becomes more important than the stories told. This quality is a characteristic of many fiction and non-fiction works that comprise the Vietnam War literature genre. The Vietnam War era was a historical moment marked by confusion and conflict, from the disagreement over the war to the inconsistent and unstructured war of attrition that soldiers were asked to fight.
This confusion and conflict is often experienced by individuals in Vietnam War literature as well, a sort of microcosm of the larger macrocosm of disorder and chaos.
This theme of chaos leads to the tone of uncertainty present in The Things They Carried. For example, O'Brien describes how "Tim O'Brien" struggles to decide whether he should avoid military service by fleeing to Canada.
The historical issue of draft-dodging, that is, escaping from the country to avoid the military draft, was a high pressure topic about which many contemporary organizations felt strongly.
O'Brien takes us through both sides of the issue, feeling the fear of a young man facing military service and possibly death to one feeling a patriotic duty toward his country.
Many of O'Brien's stories in The Things They Carried highlight important historical tensions regarding Vietnam and present multiple perspectives, leaving the reader with more questions than answers.
One of the important themes O'Brien confronts in the novel is the pressure caused by feeling the need to adhere to some cultural or community standard of duty, courage, or patriotism. Commonly referred to as "jingoism," this notion is a frequent theme in Vietnam War related fiction, as most soldiers who fought in Vietnam were born and reared just after World War II.
Soldiers in World War II are thought of as having a much less conflicted sense of their place in the war and their duty to their country, although it was by no means without debate. Soldiers in Vietnam, therefore, absorbed the mores and values of their parent's generation — that is, the so-called G.The opening piece, “The Things They Carried,” is a list that focuses on everything carried into battle by each soldier in the book, ranging from such items as jungle boots and personal letters.
A summary of “On the Rainy River” in Tim O’Brien's The Things They Carried. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of The Things They Carried and what it means.
Perfect for acing essays, tests, and . The Things They Carried is a powerful meditation on the experiences of foot soldiers in Vietnam and after the war.
The work is simultaneously a war autobiography, writer's memoir, and group of fictional short stories. Subtitled "A Work of Fiction," O'Brien immediately and deliberately blurs the line.
Zillion argues that O’Brien book, The Things They Carried (ETC) is a bibliographic catharsis in which he purges his mind by separating himself from the war and writing down the things he remembers and gives them to another fictional character. The Things They Carried. January 28, By Randy L.
Rate this list: Activities for this list: Practice Answer a few questions on each word on this list. Get one wrong? We'll ask some follow-up questions. catharsis. purging . Zillion argues that O’Brien book, The Things They Carried (ETC) is a bibliographic catharsis in which he purges his mind by separating himself from the war and writing down the things he remembers and gives them to another fictional character.