Personal Experiences In Tim O Brien's The Things They Carried

1316 Words 6 Pages
Personal experiences help shape people’s futures and have a large impact on their world views. Many authors use these memories as inspiration for their writing. The historical accounts in Tim O’brien’s, The Things They Carried, come with some truths, but are mostly derived from what he believed would have happened. Although O’Brien himself did not witness the things he wrote about in his novel, he still is able to portray the struggles many soldiers went through. While reading The Things They Carried through the historical lens and examining the novel’s accuracy to events of the Vietnam War, it becomes evident that O’Brien’s own life, education, and knowledge of true war stories affected the historical relevance of his work.
Living in an all-American
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An article recalling the early life of Tim O’brien reads, “O 'Brien 's parents were reading enthusiasts, his father on the local library board and his mother a second grade teacher” (Tim O 'Brien Biography). His parents valued reading, and that spread into their children, instilling a love for literature during early childhood. Tim’s interest in writing and storytelling started very early on, inspiring him to pursue his passion and paving the way for his future success. His understanding and ability to create fiction is shown in his novels and other pieces. For instance, in The Things They Carried, he mentions the importance of writing and how it allows people to cope with different situations. In a chapter titled, The Lives of the Dead, he reflects on the loss of a dear friend at a young age by saying, ¨She was dead. I understood that. After all, I’d …show more content…
Serving for over a year as a rifleman and radio telephone operator, he was not directly exposed to the horrors of combat. Despite his limited time in danger, he saw what the war did to other soldiers and was able to integrate those experiences into his war stories. An article describing O’Brien’s time in the war reads, “He was wounded twice while in service and was relatively safe during the final months of his tour when he was assigned to jobs in the rear. O 'Brien ultimately rose to the rank of sergeant” (Tim O 'Brien Biography). Tim served his country and played a small, but essential role in the safety of his fellow soldiers. He used his personal experiences and expanded upon them to create a believable story that encompassed the range of emotions present during wartime. Within the novel, Tim writes about a variety of perspectives through different characters and how the war impacts their lives. Although O 'brien spent time in Vietnam, he used the skills he learned from his childhood to develop a story of historical fiction. In an interview about the novel, O 'brien discusses his inspiration for the piece by saying, “I wanted to write a work of fiction that would feel to the reader as if this had occurred or, in a way, is occurring as I read it. And, so, I would use every strategy I could think of, invention, and dialogue, and using my own name, dedicating the book to the characters, as

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