The Things They Carried By Tim O ' Brien Essay

1214 Words Dec 22nd, 2015 5 Pages
Mortality in War in The Things They Carried
War often leads people to reevaluate their lives and beliefs. In Tim O’Brien’s They Things They Carried motifs, such as the repetition of storytelling, reveal how people can be given life through words, such as the little girl named Linda who died of cancer at a young age. Juxtaposition through grotesque imagery, such as the man O’Brien kills, reveals this concept of life versus death and how O’Brien is lead to reevaluate his life as a result of war. Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried uses motifs and juxtaposition to convey a feeling of O’Brien’s own emphasized mortality as a result of war and his proximity to death. In war, there is a highlighted sense of mortality due to proximity to death. This idea is conveyed through O’Brien’s repetition of story, or remembering the lives of others, which is used in the novel to bring people back to life through words and ultimately to help him cope with death in war. O’Brien manipulates memories into stories to help him cope with death and remain connected to reality. When placed in a death permeated setting, O’Brien’s own sense of mortality is highlighted, as he realizes the effects of war and the lives lost as a result. O’Brien remembers other people’s lives and deaths through storytelling, such as Kiowa, Ted Lavender, and Curt Lemon. He gives them life and breath metaphorically through words, paying homage to their memories. O’Brien’s repetition of story reveals he has never…

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