Identifying a Classic Essay

746 WordsOct 31, 20113 Pages
After reading “The Things They Carried”, the question is asked is this novel a classic. First one must know what makes a book a classic. According to Italo Calvino, “A classic is a book that never finished saying what it has to say.” This simply means the ending of the novel is not the end. “The Things They Carried” does not draw a firm conclusion but in fact leaves an opened end for a continuation of the tale(s) to be told. There are many things that determine whether or not a book is a classic. Some of these include: having multiple levels of meaning, effective, unique style appropriate to purpose and content, and truth of experience. Also it has universality of significance to all humanity of all cultures, and inexhaustibility. After reviewing these qualities I have decided that “The Things They Carried” is a classic. The first thing that qualifies a book to be a classic is the fact that this book has multiple levels of meaning. Since “The Things They Carried” is a collection of short stories, it automatically has multiple meanings. For some the meaning may simply be viewed as a novel of one’s life during the Vietnam War, but it is in fact much more than that. This novel explores such topics as: love, war, relationships, and the reality of the things that not only the characters but we too carry. These meanings are not direct but after reading can be discovered. The next thing that qualifies this book as a classic is the fact that it uses effective, unique style appropriate to the purpose and content. In this book author Tim O’Brien use a style unique to this novel. His tone is appropriate for storytelling which is the main thing happening in this book. There is also different point of views from which the stories are told. Though O’Brien is the narrator his stories come from the views and experiences of others. “The Things They Carried” also includes

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