The Things They Carried Essay Number Three
Tim O’Brien’s novel, The Things They Carried, is a novel composed of war stories from the Vietnam War. O’Brien tells the stories of not only himself, but stories from the men with whom he fought alongside. The main idea of the book is what these men carried, which was not only tangible objects, but emotions as well. Digging deeper into this meaning, many of the stories were changed from their true and factual selves to half true and half fictitious stories based on that person’s emotions at that time. Many writers, such as Tim O’Brien, find more truth in fiction than on the actual occurring event. In Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried there is a blurred line between fact and fiction and the real Tim O’Brien and Tim’s character. Tim’s character represents his truth from his emotional views and the narrator Tim tells what really happened. Tim O’Brien’s character in The Things They Carried looked in the faces of the dead, but in reality he did not have the strength to look into the faces of the deceased. He could call this his own truth because his emotions are what he was writing down. All he did was take the way that he felt and added details and faces to events that actually occurred. For most people this is their own truth. Everybody has their own truth because memories are driven by emotion and the emotions can sometimes temporarily or even permanently block out what really happened and a story from factual events is created. Throughout the majority of the novel Tim uses character Tim over narrator Tim, but he does occasionally distinguish fact from emotions. During the instance when O’Brien’s daughter asks him if he has ever killed a man O’Brien hesitates in a truthful answer. It seems as though he is greatly conflicted because he feels as if he has killed a man, but he never actually killed a man. It is as if by him being a part of the war and not helping the dying men it is a fault of his that he could not...
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