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The Things They Carried Essay

Words: 873, Paragraphs: 5, Pages: 3

Paper type: Essay, Subject: Free

What do you NOT know about him/her? What makes your speaker an effective story teller? What character in the novel do you believe to be the least effective? Why? How does the speaker relate to this character? I know that the speaker Is conscious of what he writes about, meaning that he knows he writes only about the Vietnam War and that it has consumed his writing career yet can’t help but continue to write about the stories and his buddies who died and how it felt to be a young soldier against his will.

What I don’t know about IM is what really happened to him after he got back home from the war; he added a story about a friend’s life after the war but he never went Into full detail about his own life. There is really one main thing that makes the speaker an effective story teller, and that is the way he detailed his stories so etiquette while still maintaining a down to earth tone which allows readers to connect with the author on a deeper level.

Another thing that ties In with the first reason is the way O’Brien makes his stories come alive in a sense that you feel like you’re really there in the dead of night n Vietnam listening to Rat Skills outrageously true tales or you’re watching Tim shoot that frail boy with a start shaped hole In his eye. Although there were many seemingly unimportant characters In the novel. Every single one had a meaning behind it no matter how small the role so there weren’t any that were the least effective (at least in my opinion).

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The speaker seems to relate to every character, as if every character is a small chunk of him. Even though the novel was written to convey his buddies’ perspectives on the war, It really seemed to me that all of those stories re what make Tim O’Brien the man he is; as if they are all puzzle pieces to his life. Choose five quotes that you believe completely characterize the speaker. Record and explain each. You must use details from the text to support your conclusions. 1 . “Now, perhaps, you can understand why I’ve never told this story before… UT what embarrasses me much more, and always will, is the paralysis that took my heart. A moral freeze: I couldn’t decide, I couldn’t act, I couldn’t comport myself.. ” This quote shows how the speaker Is afraid of not knowing. He does not like feeling venerable or exposed so that frightened him which ultimately made him embarrassed to tell that story. He was not reluctant because within the story he had cried, as he mentions in the same quote, but because he felt like he “couldn’t comport [himself] with even a pretense of modest dignity. 2. “You can tell a true war story If it embarrasses you. If you don’t care for obscenity, you don’t care for the truth; If you don’t care for the truth, watch how you vote. ” This shows how the speaker knows about true war stories. Not only that, but he knows how they’re supposed to sound, feel like, what ar story cannot be believed and if you do then you must be skeptical: “often the crazy stuff is true and the normal stuff isn’t, because the normal stuff is necessary to make you believe the truly incredible craziness. ” 3. By telling stories, you objectify your own experience. You separate it from yourself. You pin down certain truths. You make up others. You start sometimes with an incident that truly happened, and you carry it forward by inventing incidents that in fact did not occur but that nonetheless help to clarify and explain. ” The speaker is explaining how he tells stories, which makes up his entire writing career. He explains how telling the truth and sprinkling in some tall tales makes for a good story so that the reader can connect with it. 4. “Someday, I hope, she’ll ask again.

But here I want to pretend she’s grown-up. I want to tell her exactly what happened… And then I want to say to her that as a little girl she was absolutely right. This is why I keep writing war stories. ” He wanted to keep his daughters innocence even though he knew she was right. He admits the reason for writing war stories, which is because he wants his daughter to know what he has done. This shows that the speaker wants to keep re innocence alive, but only until she is old enough to know the truth put into perfectly constructed words. . “I’m young and happy. I’ll never die. I’m skimming across the surface of my own history, moving fast, riding the melt beneath the blades… I realize it is as Tim trying to save Tommy’s life with a story. ” I think this quote characterizes the speaker as a whole: in his mind, he is still in his dream world with Linda, ice skating and being in love. The last sentence especially reveals his true identity, which is the same young nine year old Timmy he was and still is as he says throughout the last chapter.

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