The Things They Carried Literary

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Different styles of writing can relay different ideas about war. Tim O’Brien writes truth mixed with fiction in an effort to try and make the reader understand war as far as he believes the reader is capable. He understands that his readers come from all walks of life and may or may not have experienced war; O’Brien writes in a tone to accommodate all of these perspectives. This paper is meant to analyze the styles and impact of Tim O’Brien’s novel The Things They Carried and how those literary devices change the reader’s perspective. The author, Tim O’Brien, a Minnesota veteran of the Vietnam War, has received numerous writing and literary awards throughout his writing career. Some of the styles, tones, and techniques that Tim O’Brien employs throughout the book include lists, declarative sentences, and a non-linear progression of time, among other things. “The Things They Carried” is a novel about various experiences in the Vietnam War. It almost seems as if it is a collection of short stories, yet each chapter is a part of the bigger story as a whole. Each chapter usually has a moral, idea, or opinion behind it, while still managing to maintain its role as a piece of the larger picture. The main perspective that delivers the idea of the chapter is told either by a character in the book that plays a major role or by the narrator. O’Brien states several times that his novel contains a blend of fiction and reality. He mentions that sometimes even he does not know what is true or not, referring to this as “metafiction”. O’Brien believes that the reader is only capable of understanding war to a certain extent and that no one can understand war fully, not even the people that were or are still there. Stories about war often stir up emotion, but I believe that O’Brien thinks he needs to spice up his stories; nevertheless, many of the passages in O’Brien’s book are
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