Essay on The Things They Carried By Tim O ' Brien

1696 Words Jun 3rd, 2016 7 Pages
The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien explores the experiences of a platoon from the Vietnam war in a series of short stories. The stories go deeper than the events of the war, they show the moral dilemmas soldiers face everyday in the battlefield. Tim O’Brien served in the Vietnam war, but these stories are not based off of his experience, although it plays a role in his storytelling. Most of the short stories are written in first person from the perspective of Tim O’Brien, a fictional character not based on the author, but some are written from other perspectives to provide depth. Tim O’Brien uses perspective and imagery to show the effect of war on soldiers and the guilt from killing they experience in the short stories “The Man I Killed” and “Ambush”.
Many scholars have analyzed Tim O 'Brien 's writing and the effect war played on his storytelling techniques. His background enables him to enhance the personal war experience for the reader. Found in the literary criticism Too Embarrassed Not to Kill, Robert R. Harris wrote “Mr. O 'Brien strives to get beyond literal descriptions of what these men went through and what they felt. He makes sense of the unreality of the war -- makes sense of why he has distorted that unreality even further in his fiction -- by turning back to explore the workings of the imagination, by probing his memory of the terror and fearlessly confronting the way he has dealt with it as both a soldier and fiction writer. In doing all this, he not…

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