The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien

1705 Words7 Pages
The Things They Carried written by Tim O’ Brien is a well written work of fiction. In the story O’ Brien closely makes an association with the physical, psychological, and emotional weight the soldiers bared while serving in the Vietnam War. Throughout the story O’Brien examines what it takes to tell a good war story while he uses his own experiences in conjunction with his imagination to weave together a series of stories. He does a phenomenal job at making the reader feel as if they themselves are a solider serving in the Vietnam War. However, like O’Brien states in the book “A true war story is never moral” (O’ Brien 65).
The Vietnam War holds a different meaning for people both young and old. The longest known US war lasted a solid eighteen years. Some would describe the war as a puzzle since not everyone was for the war. At the age of 21 Tim O’Brien was drafted for the Vietnam War. He states that The Things They Carried is a way for readers to feel what he felt during the war. The key experiences and emotions that he wants the reader to feel are frustration, not being able to find your enemy, having soldiers all around you losing their life, and being upset about being in a war in which you yourself do not believe in. Now forty years later after the Vietnam War first started O’Brien is left with face-less responsibility and face-less grief. He says it best himself “You bring war back home with you. The things you carried in the war are also things you brought back home.”
The Things They Carried is a novel and a novel is a form of art. The main purpose for any form of art is to give people an outlook and an insight into reality. O’Brien does a brilliant job in using his technique as an author to make the reade...

... middle of paper ...

...rtist and just like any artist O’Brien wants to change your mind. He wants you to see the world the way he sees the world. This is his intent to have the reader believe that this collection of memories, feelings, and actions is actually real and in some parts of the story he has the reader believing that they themselves were once a solider in the Vietnam War. Life itself is a lot like how O’Brien describes war. He says “War is hell, but that’s not the half of it, because war is also mystery and terror and adventure and courage and discovery and holiness and pity and despair and longing and love. War is nasty; war is fun. War is drudgery. War makes you a man; makes you dead” (O’Brien 76). Any well written novel will intrigue a reader because when an author is able to bend in emotions of a real life event with a fictional standpoint of things a story has been written.
Open Document