English / The Things They Carried

The Things They Carried

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Autor:  anton  02 April 2011
Tags:  Things,  Carried
Words: 457   |   Pages: 2
Views: 226

One of the most interesting aspects of The Things They Carried is the way O’Brien reveals the inner worlds of his characters. How far do you agree?

In “The Things They Carried” Tim O’Brien definitively reveals the inner worlds of his characters. That’s just one of the aspects that makes the collection of the stories interesting. The author describes himself as a quiet person who can be easily persuaded and goes through moral dilemmas. Through deeper analysis of the stories he reveals to us the way he truly feels about Vietnam and his new friends.

Tim O’Brien also deeply illustrates the characters of Norman Bowker and Mary Anne Bell. He writes about how the war changed them forever and how people don’t realize the trauma of war unless they’ve been there. Not only their inner worlds are revealed but most of their meaning of their lives, their responsibilities and conditions. Both physically and psychologically. The author uses their stories as a form of catharsis. His motive for writing is that “Stories can save us. That’s why they need to be told.”

A good example of a motive to write about is the story of Norman Bowker who was represented many times in Tim O’Brien’s stories. Norman Bowker lost himself with Kiowa. That’s where his courage died. When Bowker came home, he was trapped by his memories and that’s what destroyed him and pushed him over the edge. He felt alienated, lonely and hopeless. The story of “Speaking of Courage” showed us the effects of the psychological burdens and the lack of communication

Another interesting character that was revealed is Mary Anne Bell. A sweet girl, who came to Vietnam to see her boyfriend. She was one of the characters who changed from within. Mary Anne became fascinated with the “landscape” of the war. We see exactly how her gradual immersion in the war becomes complete, especially when she ventures for days into the jungle alone and ultimately disappears. Mary Anne Said that “When I’m out there at night, I feel close to my own body, I can feel my blood moving, my skin and my fingernails, everything, it’s like I’m full of electricity and I’m glowing in the dark – I’m on fire almost – I’m burning away to nothing – but it doesn’t matter, because I know exactly where I am”. Or does she?

What all three of those characters have in common is that they all went through the impact of war.

Tim O’Brien’s stories are a significant contribution to discuss because of the language and descriptions he uses. It’s very propagandistic, penetrative but also simplistic. That collection of stories shows us that, to understand the difficulties of the war and the trauma; you had to be there to witness it.



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