The Things They Carried Character Analysis

Pages: 4 (990 words) Published: February 18, 2016

The Things They Carried, written by Tim O’brien is a novel, which depicts the Vietnamese war, specifically experiences of the soldiers during and after the war. Youth is portrayed in the novel as a significant factor, which influences not only the idea represented in the novel but also the author himself. Although this is no explicitly stated throughout the book, there are a couple of characters that are more significant to Tim O’brien than others. These characters are Linda and Kathleen. By analyzing the book we can observe that both character are connected to O’brien and his stories. They not only represent the youth of the present, but also change the author’s perspective on war. Since he is an adult, we can straight away notice the symbolism...

The reason is that as she is a child, he wants to protect her from the bitter truth of the real world. He wants to protect her innocence and keep it the way it is, however at the same time he also wants her to mature and know everything about her father’s past. This can be interpreted by the following quote, “Someday, I hope, she'll ask again. But here I want to pretend she's a grown-up. I want to tell her exactly what happened, or what I remember happening, and then I want to say to her that as a little girl she was absolutely right. This is why I keep writing war stories.” He pretends that she is already a grown up and this makes him continue telling the stories to her. However, realizing that she is actually not, keeps him from telling the whole...

She is the reason why he started to tell his stories, because she made him believe that storytelling will keep the memory alive: “And sometimes remembering will lead to a story, which makes it forever. That's what stories are for. Stories are for joining the past to the future. Stories are for those late hours in the night when you can't remember how you got from where you were to where you are. Stories are for eternity, when memory is erased, when there is nothing to remember except the story.” Similar to the representation of Kathleen in the novel, Linda is represented as a very innocent person. As well as protecting Kathleen, O’brien also protects Linda in a particular way. He protects the memory he has in relation to her. By storytelling he tries to keep her alive. “The thing about a story is that you dream it as you tell it, hoping that others might then dream along with you, and in this way memory and imagination and language combine to make spirits in the head. There is the illusion of aliveness.” There is a similarity between Linda and
There is a similarity between Linda and Kathleen in a way that they both change Tim O’brien’s perspective on his experience of war. They are closely related to O’brien and their influence makes him who he is. Although they are young and naïve they have a significant implement on what O’brien does and what he writes...
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