Essay about Literary Devices Used in the Things They Carried

906 Words Nov 4th, 2010 4 Pages
Literary Devices Used In The Things They Carried
By: Tom Vennemann
The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien expresses the importance of a story-truth, as opposed to a happening-truth by use of literary elements in his writing. The novel is about war and the guilt it leaves on everyone involved in the war. Story-truth is not exactly what happened, but uses part of the truth and part made up in order to express the truth of what emotion was felt, which an important thematic element in the novel is. The three literary devices he uses to express this are diction, imagery, juxtaposition, and hyperbole. All of these elements allow the reader to identify emotion that is expressed in each story, as though that were the complete truth.
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He exaggerates how dead this man really is. Expressing how bad Tim felt about killing him, and making him feel even worse now. Hyperbole plays a big role in story-truth because that is basically what a story-truth is, it is exaggeration of the truth, and without that it would be the same as happening-truth. Without hyperbole in stories, the story will lack emotion, and therefore lack importance.
The Things They Carried expresses its emotion through literary devices though out the entire novel. Giving examples of imagery, hyperbole, juxtaposition and diction, simply to show the reader how emotional the war was to O'Brien. By expressing story-truth, as opposed to happening-truth, one is able to see what an event meant to O’Brien by viewing the details of the passage. Details are what make a story-truth important, without details, the story would not show the type of emotion that O’Brien is trying to establish. Story-truth is important to The Things They Carried because it gives the reader a sense for the war that O’Brien

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