The Things They Carried

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The Things They Carried

Throughout his novel, the things The Carried, author Tim O’Brien uses a plethora of strategies to give the reader a deeper incite into the day to day life of an American ground soldier during the Vietnam War. O’ Brian shares with us his extensive knowledge and first hand experiences throughout the novel. Being a veteran of the Vietnam War helps O ‘Brian gives us a look into American’s longest war, not often given. Aside from recalling past events, he uses many unique techniques that we may be less used to. The first is the use of characters and objects as representations. This is one of the tactics most often used in the book. Another way that O ‘Brian uses rliterature to emphasize a point is the use of meta-fiction. This is basically telling the truth in a lie. Lastly, his knowledge and experiences add another dimension to this book that can really engage the reader. All of these components working together are what has mad the Things They Carried, such a critically acclaimed book. I have found that a good strategy to use when reading this book, is to remember that often times things are not what they seem. The book was filled with figurative language and representation the O ‘Brien uses to emphasizes and support his points. This strategy is used with both people and objects. In the book, there are characters that O ‘Brian tells us that he served with in the war, but in interviews told people that he fictionalized them to emphasize his point. An example of this would be Mark Fossie’s girlfriend Mary Ann Belle who visits the men in Vietnam. She is the classic example of the “American girl”. “ A tall, big-boned blonde. AT best, Rat said, she was seventeen years old, fresh out of Cleveland Heights Senior High School. She had long, white legs and blue eyes and complexion like strawberry ice cream. Very friendly, too.” She is a representation of what all them men left behind when the joined the war. The young, attractive, and vibrant...
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