The Things They Carried Essay example

1769 WordsJan 1, 20138 Pages
Nikita Keenan 7/14/12 Throughout Tim O’Brien’s novel, The Things They Carried, the persona of the author often serves as a medium between the translation of emotion felt by characters in the story to the reader of the book. By developing fictitious versions of events that transpired while serving in the Vietnam War, O’Brien’s character is able to revive memories from the past as well as spark feelings of understanding and empathy in others. Surprisingly, the tone of the narrator rarely peals away from being passive and humorous, despite the tragic scenes that unfold within the story. Feelings of sorrow and regret intertwine passages in the novel but are never directly addressed, thus, the author’s character seems to be reserved about…show more content…
Many of the words that soldiers used to describe their surroundings and themselves had negative underlying meanings and many of the platoon members and O’Brien (p.54) believed it wasn’t fair that they were out fighting a war while everyone else was back home. The implementation of new words and phrases into the story gave the setting a more authentic feel and added depth to the characters in the book. After reading O’Brien’s book, one sentence that really stuck out to me was earlier in the story (p.39) when the narrator was describing the huge burden that the soldiers not only of his platoon, but everyone in the Vietnam War carried. “They carried the sky. The whole atmosphere, they carried it, the humidity, the monsoons, the stink of fungus and decay, all of it, they carried gravity.” The construction of the sentence starts off with a statement that is short but appropriately signifies the epic task at hand. Furthermore, the abruptness of the statement creates momentum for more descriptions to be added later in the sentence. O’Brien begins to list off several grand things such as the atmosphere and gravity which are both obviously impossible to carry and the difficulty of each soldiers job is further magnified to an unimaginable level. This rather long sentence is the most effective found throughout the story because it perfectly describes what every character in the book is feeling and justifies the

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