Closure In Tim O 'Brien's The Things They Carried'

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Hanna Jones Mr. Materne English 402 1 Oct. 2012 Needing Closure Sometimes an author ends his or her novel in a peculiar and unsatisfactory way. He or she may leave questions unanswered, or the author may throw readers for a loop with a completely unexpected ending. Authors write the ending based on he or she see fits what they have written best. The author chose the ending for a reason even though it may be hard for a reader to decipher why. An appropriate ending reflects the theme of the novel. In The Things They Carried, Tim O'Brien's ending perfectly represents the theme and what the character Tim O'Brien seeks throughout the novel; closure. O'Brien uses himself as the main character in The Things They Carried; a veteran from the…show more content…
O'Brien claims responsibility for Kiowa's death at the end of “Notes” but in the next chapter “In the Field”, O'Brien explains exactly what happened to Kiowa and leaves the soldier to blame unnamed. The unnamed soldier and Kiowa have a close relationship. One night the soldier shines a flashlight on a picture of his girlfriend which causes the enemies to attack and Kiowa's death. The unnamed soldier tries to confess what happened to Lieutenant Cross, but Cross pays no attention to him. A little later, in the chapter “Field Trip”, O'Brien takes his daughter to the site where Kiowa died. O'Brien explains how a part of him died in the field with Kiowa and he never quite got rid of the coldness. He blames the field for taking away his innocence and the Tim from before the war. O'Brien takes Kiowa's moccasins and lodges them in the muck where Sanders found Kiowa's rucksack. After he puts the moccasins to rest, he starts to feel again. When he comes out of the water he finally finds closure for Kiowa's death and the guilt he harbored for years. “...I'd gone under with Kiowa, and now after two decades I'd finally worked my way out.” (O'Brien 187). This quote is O'Brien saying that he found closure when he came out of the water. When O'Brien comes out of the water he is “born again”, or washed clean of guilt and ready to move
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