• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Things They Carried Essay

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

A Real War Story Abhishek Puri IB English A1-SL 24-11-2008 Sandie Bartel Tim O'Brien is successful in bringing authenticity in his novel, "The Things They Carried" by blurring the distinction between fact and fiction. O'Brien fabricates numerous details of the Vietnam War, (including the various characters in alpha-company) which compliment a spectrum of emotions brought about by the complexity of the mechanisms of the war. The author uses various points of view to give the reader a wide range of perspectives so that people bring their own personality and lay it on the truth. O'Brien's intention of telling a "real war story" has been achieved by using the "real" as a point of departure for his storytelling as he correctly believes that his imagined accounts could have genuine roots of truth. In the chapter, "How to tell a true war story", O'Brien tells various versions of Curt Lemon's death. However he states that, "It comes down to gut instinct. A true war story, if truly told, makes the stomach believe", O'Brien's gut feeling and the actual event of how Lemon died is told following this statement. ...read more.

Middle

Here, O'Brien tries to express that Truth resides in fiction, not in fact which is a major theme of the novel, re-emphasizing his numerous justifications in "How to Tell a True war story". Very concise chapters like "Stockings" and "The Dentist" are short stories which make a microcosm into a microcosm where each large effect of the Vietnam War on American soldiers is told in one effective story, which greatly contributes to the realism to the story by giving the reader a wider angle of the war's effects on American men. Even though the author refers to another "Tim O'Brien" in "The Things They Carried" and characters of the alpha company don't exist Credibility of the story is achieved by telling the story from different points of view. The first person major used in 'On the Rainy River' makes the story very intimate and therefore believable. He starts off by saying: "This is one story I've never told before" immediately the reader is engaged. It is as if Tim O'Brien were an old friend, who told the reader a secret nobody knows of. ...read more.

Conclusion

Colloquial language is another form of detail to make the stories more truthful. The use of words like "dust-off chopper", which would be used in regular speech by the soldiers, the swearing also adds to the believability of the story. Everything seems possible. If the soldiers would use words like, the army truck that comes to pick up the casualties instead of the 'dust-off chopper' it would not be as truthful. "To carry something was to hump it" the word hump is then always used instead of carrying. The use of military slang adds to the truth; it makes the reader feel as if he were part of it, as if he knew everything the soldiers did. Even though the author refers to another "Tim O'Brien" in "The Things They Carried" and characters of the alpha company don't exist, By repeating the same story with different details, and different points of views and by adding detail and colloquial language, Tim O'Brien successfully wrote and intimate war story. This story could be true, although the characters and details are fictional. The feelings evoked by each story are true, and similar to the ones he himself felt while he was in Vietnam fighting the war. ?? ?? ?? ?? Page 1 of 3 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate Languages section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate Languages essays

  1. Of Mice and Men Analytical Essay

    As a woman in the Great Depression, she had very little power. The only security she gained was by marrying Curley and, with that action, she allowed him to take full control over her. Her dream was to have a career in the movies.

  2. Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel Chapter Analysis

    After dinner, Tita is left to clean the kitchen. In a small room in which Mama Elena used to have her baths Pedro again confronts Tita and without saying anything he takes her to the bed and makes love to her, taking her virginity.

  1. IB ENGLISH ANTIGONE ESSAY

    She tells him, "I didn't say yes. I can say no to anything I think vile, and I don't have to count the cost" (35). She throws back in his face all that he has learned to be over the years - the man to compromise his values as a means of getting along.

  2. Engligh Extended Essay on Egdgar Allen Poe

    The first sign of dream-like surrealism in The Fall of The House of Usher comes in the first two lines of quoted poetry "son coeur est un luth suspendu" by B�ranger which translates to his heart is a suspended lute.

  1. Macbeth Essay

    His evil was absolute and there was no escape from that reality. After telling his wife that he will visit the witches again, Macbeth reflected that there was no turning back from his unrighteous course, "I am in blood/ Stepp'd in so far that, should I wade no more,/Returning were as tedious as go o'er" (III.v.136-138).

  2. Representing Truth Through Fiction: The Portrayal of Vietnam in The Things They Carried and ...

    In particular, the story "Speaking of Courage" shows a metaphor for the uncertain conditions and terrain of Vietnam. In this story, one of the characters, a young Native American soldier by the name of Kiowa, drowns in a field of mud and excrement.

  1. How Things Fall Apart

    everything he ever asked for: respect for being the most successful farmer, a fiery and powerful leader, an unbeatable protector of his family and he would have been able to sustain the indigenous traditional village life. At the same time Silindu would have adapted or assimilated perfectly into Umuofia.

  2. Christopher's Trip to the Dentist

    I didn?t know where to sit because there were lots of other people in the waiting room and I did not want to sit next to any of them because I do not like people. I chose to sit in the corner next to the fish tank because there was

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work