The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien Essay

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Fiction is a story, a plot, and a creative product of a writer's mind. Writers write for many reasons such as the need to give and explore their own opinions. Another purpose could be that writing gives writers a means to express inexpressible experiences and to give such experiences a sense of truth.


The writer Tim O'Brien fuses fact and fiction in the way he structures his characters and stories in the book. First and foremost, he names the main character and narrator of the story after himself. His character O'Brien, is a soldier turned writer after being discharged from Military duty like himself. Through his story character O'Brien, the writer O'Brien stresses on the significance of telling one's story to cope with disturbing memories of war.
The character O'Brien starts the chapter "Spin" with bits of stories of his fellow soldiers that are disconnected to the continuing war. O'Brien describes how his fellow soldiers entertain themselves in the more subtle moments of their time in Vietnam like two of his friends digging a foxhole every night so that they ca play checkers. Here he now reveals that he is now a writer and is at the age of forty three. He claims that writing stories of the past has made the bad memories reappear. Although his daughter Kathleen encourages him to write happier stories; he maintains that writing about what he remembers is a way of coping with things that you can't stop thinking about. ...
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