Psychological Analysis of a Fictional Character

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This article focuses on outlining the salient memories described in Tim O’Brien’s novel, The Things They Carried, and how they relate to David Pillemer’s article “Momentous Events and The Life Story”. Firstly, I will discuss Tim O’Brien’s form of writing used in his work of fiction. Secondly, three recounts of O’Brien’s stories will be told and related to David Pillemer’s personal event memory functional categories. Lastly, I will illustrate the benefits of applying psychological factors to analyze fictional characters. A Different Way of Writing The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien is a short novel composed of twenty-two short stories told by the author himself. The stories are primarily about the Vietnam War but also heavily emphasize the importance of stories. The novel is an account of O’Brien’s life, yet it is not an autobiography. It is classified as fiction because not all of the stories are completely true and there is a clear difference between the author Tim O’Brien and the fictional character Tim O’Brien. O’Brien’s way of storytelling allows the reader to feel exactly how O’Brien felt even if the stories do not depict exactly what happened. For example, O’Brien describes a man he killed with a grenade in “The Man I Killed”, but then later in “Good Form” he admits he did not kill the man but only watched him die. This lie allows O’Brien to express the guilt he felt watching the man die because it had felt as though he killed him. O’Brien openly admits to his fabrication in stories and explains that it helps tell the story more accurately than just stating what actually happened would. In the novel, Time O’Brien, the person, writes about Tim O’Brien, the character. The author differs from the character because O’... ... middle of paper ... ...obby Jorgenson not knowing what he was doing and letting him die. O’Brien wants to get back at Jorgenson so he enlists Azar to help him with his revenge. They set up traps around Jorgenson’s bunker and began making noises and setting off fire flares to scare him. After awhile, O’Brien decided that it was enough and they should stop, but Azar would not listen and wanted to finish their plan. O’Brien felt awful after. He talked to Jorgenson after everything was over and they both decided they were even. This even is an anchoring event. An anchoring event is a memory that provides validation of one’s beliefs and values. After O’Brien and Azar started with their plan to scare Jorgenson, O’Brien realized what they were doing was cruel. He wanted to stop because he knew he was not the kind of person to do cruel things to other. Unlike Azar, who genuinely torturing others.
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