The genre fiction brings the audience into a new experience they have never experienced before in their lives. It introduces different types of people and places one can only imagine. A fiction uses fantasy as a way to reel us into a story as if we, the audience, are part of it. In which it can have an effect on our memory because the brain uses only bits of pieces of information from our memory to tell a story we want to believe. In his novel, The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien uses fiction as a way to make Vietnam seem like a fantasy. He uses beautiful imagery, almost as if it is a fairytale, to capture the reader’s attention. He wants the reader’s to feel and see Vietnam from his vision, as more than just a war; he wants us to understand the tensions in the three stages of development in his life as the writer/narrator, the soldier, and a young, confused little boy.
In his novel, O’Brien seeks to give deeper meaning to the events that happened in the Vietnam War. He uses reiteration as a part of specific occurrences that have happened in the novel, regularly including incremental point of interest with every telling. One example of this is the scene of Kiowa’s death, which was retold five times. This scene is the center of most of the novel’s action and the incitement for the characters’ development. The use of this repetition is a technique O’Brien utilizes to highlight the truth of the story by adding and subtracting details. The expected effect of this technique for the audience was a feeling that stimulated intense passion with each story he tells and retells.
Sometimes stories tell another version of the truth. There are two types of truth, according to O’Brien, the ...
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O’Brien blends in the line between fiction and reality by creating fictional characters to help him deal with his real emotions. “Tim O’Brien” is a symbol of memory and storytelling, two of the themes in the novel. The main theme is storytelling. It becomes an expression of memory and a release of the past. The Things They Carried is a representation of the autobiography of O’Brien, the fictional character, and not of O’Brien, the author. Tim O’Brien’s aim was to give his readers a unique and challenging book of complex short stories that presents a war memoir and a writer’s autobiography.
O’Brien, Tim. “Good Form.” The Things They Carried. New York: Mariner, 2009. 171-172. Print.
“Your Memory Is a Filthy Liar.” Narr. O’Brien, Jack, and Jason Pargin. Interview. Audio blog post. Cracked.com. Soundcloud, May 2014. Web. 19 Jan. 2016.
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