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William Wordsworth - Essay Example

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In his book, The Things They Carried , Tim O’Brien has presented a collection of short, inter-related stories from his memoirs of the Vietnam War and an autobiography that aims to construct a reflection of his own experiences through the fictional character who shares…
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William Wordsworth
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The Things They Carried In his book, The Things They Carried , Tim O’Brien has presented a collection of short, inter-related stories from his memoirs of the Vietnam War and an autobiography that aims to construct a reflection of his own experiences through the fictional character who shares O’Brien’s name. Although O’Brien emphasizes that the work is pure fictional rather than a true, historical account, it is quite evident that O’Brien’s own feelings are reflected through his portrayal of the war in which he personally participated. Rather than being chronologically arranged, the story by O’Brien is stretched along many stories which O’Brien reminisces as he remembers about them.
The characterization of Tim O’Brien in the book, although fictitious, is important in generating a sense of relationship between the story and the reader in ways that explains a very profound side of war pertaining to truth. Through his various stories, O’Brien reflects on different perspectives of war and its associated notions of courage and bravery. In a story he tells, O’Brien feels like a coward because he supported or conformed to a stand he did not stood for. He attempted to try to escape the war by running away to Canada but inevitably decides to give in to social pressures of giving his service for the draft.
A prominent emphasis is on the aspect of truth related to war. Occurrance does not entail truth and thus, everything that happens does not necessarily mean it is true. With this concept, O’Brien tries to stress on the fact that truth is independent of happenings but depends on feelings. As such, truth is far beyond the usual accepted truths that are created through social or cultural discourse. This also implies that something cannot be deemed untruthful is its existence is fictitious but rather such “story-truths” are central to capturing truth as they engender emotions. O’Brien used various stories to demonstrate how the truth of any story lies not in its accuracy of evidence but in its emotional connection with a receiver: listener or reader. Some stories that are narrated in the course of the book also include some that do not necessarily seem to be truthful in their conventional ways but they are true in the sense that they appeal to their audiences in ways that establish a connection.
Tim O’Brien has intelligently employed his characterization in various different stories throughout the book so as to build an interest and a sense of reality of experiences. With his book, O’Brien has tried to create an understanding of how war really is; beyond its told truths through several different media. The general perception of war has its own set of social constructs that associate attributes like duty, service, and courage with it however the ground reality involves diverse emotions that can only be experienced by someone involved on the field. Many of the stories narrated by Tim OBrien in the book articulate how soldiers are filled with different emotions on the field and how emotions form the core of truth: story-truth. Read More
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