“No event in American history is more misunderstood than the Vietnam War. It was misreported then, and is misunderstood now” (Richard Nixon). This quote said by Richard Nixon was directed toward everyone in the United States involved in relaying the events of Vietnam back to the U.S. It showed how almost no one was able to describe any realistic detail of the event, except for Tim O’Brien. A student at Macalester College, Tim O’Brien was heavily involved in various antiwar protests, such as war protests and several peace vigils (“The Things They Carried…” 318). However, Tim O’Brien was drafted into the army, and by the time he was released, he was promoted to a captain (“O’Brien (William)…” 1). This source also goes on to say that due to his efforts, Tim O’Brien received the honorary Purple Heart (“O’Brien (William)…” 1). Another source states that, “despite being awarded the Purple Heart for wounds he received, O’Brien loathed the war and everything about it, but it would become the catalyst and continuing inspiration for his literary career” (“The Things…” 319). This quote helps to explain why Tim O’Brien’s work focuses mainly on characters dreading the war and wishing to be released home (“The Things…” 319). Due to the Vietnam War O’Brien fought in, his work focuses on fictional experiences of characters in the Vietnam War (“O’Brien (William)…” 318). Many health experts have commended O’Brien “for his insightful depiction of combat trauma” (“The Things…” 228). This source also goes as far as to say that, his stories can be compared to the Iliad, and the war stories of Ambrose Bierce (“The Things…” 228). “The Things They Carried” is considered by many, a great addition to books based on Viet...
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...realistic points. Tim O’Brien does a wonderful job in presenting realistic ideas in “The Things They Carried,” which is a story that sits on the fine line between “crazy and almost crazy” (Kaplan 232). Whether it is imagery, conflict, or any other literary device, Tim O’Brien uses these items along with his great understanding of fiction to accurately portray what happened in Vietnam (Kaplan 230). It is because of this talent that Tim O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried” will remain a perfect example of truthful fictitious literature. Richard Nixon’s quote may have applied quite well to America whenever he was president; however, after the release of Tim O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried,” this quote is now invalid because Tim O’Brien has proved that the truth can be told about Vietnam, it just needs to be told in a piece of fiction for its truth to be heard.
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