Essay about The Things They Carried Literary Analysis

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Literary Analysis of The Things They Carried: Metafiction Tim O’Brien brings the characters and stories to life in The Things They Carried. He uses a writing style that brings stories to life by posing questions between the relationship of reality and fiction (Calloway 249). This is called metafiction and it exposes the truth through the literary experience. Tim O’Brien uses metafiction to make the characters and stories in The Things They Carried realistically evocative of the Vietnam War. Metafiction is found early in the novel, The Things They Carried. Tim O’Brien, the protagonist of the novel, has many similarities to the author of The Things They Carried. The author and the protagonist both share the same…show more content…
Also, Mitchell Sanders says some of his story is fiction, "'Last night, man, I had to make up a few things. . . The glee club. There wasn't any glee club. . . No opera,...But, it's still true'" (O’Brien 83-84). The characters in The Things They Carried use metafiction for the same reason Tim O’Brien does, it creates realistic feelings and sensations about what truly happened. Rat Kiley is able to get his message and the truth across while telling lies because he creates the sensation of what happened. This is the same with Mitchell Sanders, the story is exaggerated but the feelings are true. Characters in The Things They Carried use metafiction to get the real truth about what happened during the Vietnam War. In the chapter “Good Form,” Tim O’Brien explains the difference between the “story truth” and the “happening truth,” (O’Brien 179) The “happening truth” is a historically accurate summary and told without feeling, while the “story truth” is told with details and is a dramatization. The “happening truth” tells while the “story truth” shows. This example of metafiction shows that sometimes the truth cannot be told by facts, it has to be demonstrated through a series of exaggerations to get the real

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