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The Things They Carried Short Story

Satisfactory Essays
Many fictional stories tend to blur the boundary between reality and fiction. This action of blurring can be argued to be a fundamental part of a narrative that helps to intensify the novel, as a whole, a step higher. The novel, The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, is defined to be a work of fiction that have such qualities that compel readers to question whether or not the author is actually telling a true story about the Vietnam War. Although O’Brien over exaggerates the truth in most cases, it helps make the experience of The Vietnam War more real-like to the readers. Through Tim O’Brien’s storytelling structure, specific details, and vivid imagery, the blurring of the lines between truth and fiction successfully exemplifies the story larger in meaning as it becomes an integral part of the narrative itself.
As the story starts off, there is grave uncertainty that exists everywhere with O’Brien’s way of storytelling of the Vietnam War experience. This uncertainty helps to establish the blurring of the fiction and truth as readers fail to get an idea of what is believed to be factual. The author begins the story with a short intro of Jimmy Cross and his beloved Martha. However, Martha did not love Cross the way he had loved her. The relationship between these two characters is quite unknown with the contradicting statements that build up this uncertainty. As soon as O’Brien states that “she was a virgin” (O’Brien 3), he immediately questions himself on whether she actually was one. This example strengthens the idea that blurring the lines between truth and fiction intensifies the story larger in meaning because of how Cross’s trace of thoughts seems to follow up on the reader’s trace of thoughts on what the truth w...

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...ons as the soldiers as they question themselves of what is real and what is not. In result, an unexplainable bond is created between the characters and the audience.
In conclusion, without the blurring of the truth and fiction, the story itself, as a whole, would lose a great amount of value that was abundant throughout the novel. The short fictional story, The Things They Carried, exemplified a wonderful example as to why blurring the lines between truth and fiction strengthens the story larger in meaning.
Altogether, O’Brien’s storytelling structure, detailed descriptions, and playful imagery effectively illustrated the qualities that compelled readers to wonder whether or not he was telling a true story. In short, readers were able to recapture the “truth” to this war story through O’Brien’s exaggeration of what actually happened in the Vietnam War.