O Brien Themes

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F: How does the way O’Brien structures his work inform the themes and messages he develops?

The way O’Brien structures his work through the use of narrative storytelling, direct quotation, and recurring motifs help emphasize the themes of post-war hardships, emotional weakness, and guilt . O’Brien uses common motifs of amoral decision making, isolation, and moral ambiguity. The motifs set the path for the book because O’Brien creates a novel about a group of men who endure the mental and physical fight on war. War can be considered one of the most traumatizing “job” in the world because of the potential it can change a human. O’Brien makes several attempts to make his message or theme clear to reader by putting direct characterization of
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Each chapter gives a new perspective into the novel because it's its own story. A quote from the story In The Field, “‘I felt sort of guilty almost, like if I'd kept my mouth shut none of it would've ever happened. Like it was my fault.’ ‘Nobody's fault,’ [Bowker] said. ‘Everybody's.’” (O’Brien 168). The narrator steps away from the storytelling and uses quotes inform the audience on what he is trying to convey. O’Brien makes guilt very prevalent in the story because he understands the soldier’s grief for each other when an ally gets killed. Guilt is one the most powerful emotions because it causes people to become paranoid. It can often lead to PTSD or any other mental illness because of the effect of the brain. Many of the character's decisions makes them feel this type of grief. An example of guilt hanging over their head was when, “When a man died, there had to be blame. Jimmy Cross understood this. You could blame the war. You could blame the idiots who made the war. You could blame Kiowa for going to it... A moment of carelessness or bad judgment or plain stupidity” (O’Brien 169). Jimmy Cross takes all criticism for the death of Kiowa because he did not act when Kiowa was in danger. The death of Kiowa will hang over his head because of his quote: “carried consequences that lasted forever” (O’Brien 170). Jimmy Cross may never be the …show more content…
His work is different from others, in a way that each chapter can be its own short story. It causes the audience to see various perspectives on war and helps O’Brien dictate between “story-truth” and “happening-truth”. Each character in some way, gets a chapter dedicated to them and their background life. O’Brien shows in-depth detail on how war alters a person’s life, and how soldiers are human beings too. Many soldiers on the platoon leave the war with PTSD due to their emotional weakness, as many people can not bare to live through what a soldier must

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