Essay about The Things They Carried By O ' Brien

1994 Words Aug 10th, 2016 8 Pages
The Things They Carried is a fictional account of the nature of men during the Vietnam War. The power of the novel comes from the blurring of the line between fiction and non-fiction. O’Brien used his actual memoir as a Vietnam soldier with a collection of what appears to be fictional short stories that he attributed to the members of his platoon. This style of writing shows that sometimes a person 's subjective thoughts and feelings about an event, which O 'Brien calls story-truth, is more meaningful than an objective factual account of the events, which O 'Brien calls happening-truth.
O 'Brien blurs the line between fact and fiction right from the start when O 'Brien dedicates the novel to the individual soldiers in his platoon, which the reader comes to realize are fictional characters. O’Brien continues to walk the line between fiction and reality by giving one of the soldiers his own name, Tim O’Brien. By giving this imaginary character his own name, O’Brien is able to relive and express his true feelings but as fictional ideas.
The book was written fifteen years after the Vietnam War had ended. The book resonated with Vietnam Vets because it discussed things that Vets had gone through during the war and were going through since the war was over. The character development was not linear; it jumped around in time. Each time the story jumped, the reader learned more about the characters. The novel began by describing the characters based on the things they physically…

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