The Things They Carried
By Tim O’Brien
Describe your speaker. What do you know about him/her? What do you NOT know about him/her? What makes your speaker an effective story teller? What character in the novel do you believe to be the least effective? Why? How does the speaker relate to this character?
I know that the speaker is conscious of what he writes about, meaning that he knows he writes only about the Vietnam War and that it has consumed his writing career yet can’t help but continue to write about the stories and his buddies who died and how it felt to be a young soldier against his will. What I don’t know about him is what really happened to him after he got back home from the war; he added a story about a friend’s life after the war but he never went into full detail about his own life. There is really one main thing that makes the speaker an effective story teller, and that is the way he detailed his stories so etiquettely while still maintaining a down to earth tone which allows readers to connect with the author on a deeper level. Another thing that ties in with the first reason is the way O’Brien makes his stories come alive in a sense that you feel like you’re really there in the dead of night in Vietnam listening to Rat Kiley’s outrageously true tales or you’re watching Tim shoot that frail boy with a start shaped hole in his eye. Although there were many seemingly unimportant characters in the novel, every single one had a meaning behind it no matter how small the role so there weren’t any that were the least effective (at least in my opinion). The speaker seems to relate to every character, as if every character is a small chunk of him. Even though the novel was written to convey his buddies’ perspectives on the war, it really seemed to me that all of those stories are what make Tim O’Brien the man he is; as if they are all puzzle pieces to his life.
Choose five quotes that you believe completely characterize the...
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