The Things They Carried Rhetorical Analysis Essay
In The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, O’Brien uses many short stories to describe his experience in Vietnam. The story that captured many aspects of writing was “How to Tell a True War Story” because it acts as a guide to writing a true story. O’Brien uses many different rhetorical strategies, narrative techniques, and establishes a theme in this story to help develop his characters and story line. Tim O’Brien uses several rhetorical strategies in this story. A strategy that is easily found in the story is imagery. He uses a lot of sensory details to help the reader know what it feels like in a certain situation. “Except for the laughter things were quiet,” (67) and “You hear stuff nobody should ever hear,” (69) are some quotes that describes the sounds the soldiers are hearing. O’Brien uses sight as a big component for setting up the setting and describing what the soldiers saw. “A handsome kid, really. Sharp grey eyes, lean and narrow-waisted…”(67), “A deep pinkish red spilled out on the river, which moved with no sound…(68). Another rhetorical strategy that O’Brien uses is motif. The motif that he uses is “…true war story…” He uses this phrase throughout the story to help the reader understand how to write a story. “A true war story is never moral.”(65). This quote is basically saying that a true war story tells it how it is; it doesn’t try to make things easier for the reader to digest. “You can tell a true war story if it embarrasses you.”(65) This quote is saying if you don’t want the offensive words or phrases then you don’t want the truth of the story. “In many cases a true war story cannot be believed.”(68) The last strategy that O’Brien uses in this story is irony. There are many places in this story when O’Brien’s ideas contradict themselves. When Curt Lemon dies, O’Brien describes it as beautiful. “…when he died it was almost beautiful, the way the sunlight came around him and lifted him up…”...
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