The Things They Carried By Tim O ' Brien Essay

776 Words Sep 17th, 2014 4 Pages
The Resurrecting Power of Stories The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien is a fictional story that exhibits love, loss, war, coming-of-age, innocence, and so much more. O’Brien explores all of these themes through an even bigger topic: storytelling. He also inversely picks apart the various aspects of storytelling via the smaller themes. One of the products of this analysis that I find to be most intriguing is the resurrecting power of stories. O’Brien asserts that stories have the capability of bringing life back to the dead, and are a form of immortality. Revolving around a war, it is no surprise that The Things They Carried contains death multiple times in almost every chapter. However, most of the fatalities are not random casualties of war; they are people that the narrator keeps returning to. The first example is Ted Lavender. Lavender’s death is first mentioned on the second page, but O’Brien and the other soldiers continue telling stories about him up until the last chapter. O’Brien rationalizes this by saying, “We kept the dead alive with stories (226).” This was a manner of coping with death, but it was also a way to keep their friends with them.
The stories that the soldiers tell are projections of their own memories. As they talk, those around must use their imaginations to picture it. Thus everyone is thinking of the same person and event, though probably pictured differently by each. Nonetheless, the memory of the person is alive, and being relived by all.…

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