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Commentary on The Things They Carried Essay


Mysterious Ways of Tim O'Brien

Have you ever heard a war story? Has anyone in your family told you about the Vietnam war? Well these stories have many real and truthful fact. But how do you know there's not lie in them? Based on all of that your still hooked on hearing the story. In The Things They Carried, author Tim O'Brien explains how telling a true war story is mad of lies, exaggeration, and real fact about the war, through the use of metafictional devices.

If and when a war story is told pay attentions to the details. If you experience refinement or rectitude had been recovered from the waste, then you have been made a fool of. " A true war story is never moral. ... If it seems moral , do not believe it". Not because you have been made a fool, but because only maybe half of this really has any moral in it and maybe because only half is really true. Except not all stories are like this. Some are really long and interesting supposing the war story is embarrassing, then the story has truth behind it. Still it's based on the moral of the story. But that's only if the story really has a moral. " You can tell a true war story if it embarrasses you. ... If you don't care for the truth, watch how you vote". Honestly how do you know what's really going on if the story has no moral and it does not embarrasses you, how do you tell? How do you tell reality from what has happened?

" In any war story, but especially a true one, it's difficult to separate what happened from what seemed to happen". Thought out these stories there is a lot of lies, exaggerations, and truth. Tim O'Brien uses these metafictional devices to keep the listener wanting more then what they came to read. why do they do this? They do this because the next time they tell the story its better then the first. However they all start with "in a war story."

Tim O'Brien has a very different writing style. Yet this style gets through to the young readers. Many of the young reader can't tell if the stories are true or false. Many of the stories are both. "ninety percent of war stories are false" The soldiers still did amazing thins while at war." In many cases a true war story cannot be believed. If you believe it, be skeptical. It's a question of credibility". Many listeners don't question the story, they go with it. Have you ever felt like a story was never going to end? Tim O'Brien makes many of the chapters in The Things They Carried seem like they were never coming to an end, but they did. "You can tell a true war story by the way it ever seems to end. Not then , not ever". But what's the point of a war story? Stories from the war are not just stories. this is a way for soldiers to remember the things they said, did, saw, felt, and experienced during this time. However they still exaggerated their stories. "Often in a true war story there is never a point, or else the point doesn't hit you until twenty years later, in your sleep, and you wake up and shake your wife and start telling the story to her, except when you get to the end you've forgotten the point again". O'Brien does this to show the rhetorical devices that he uses throughout the book. He uses numerous devices but Metafictional is the one he uses the most through the book. this device is to show how stories are true and false at time. also to make us understand the soldiers burdens, emotions and stories of what once happened during the Vietnam war. The soldiers use a lot of exaggeration, yet truthful facts throughout.

Numerous stories are really never about the war. They all have different meanings and never the same. Some stories are about regrets, what they could of had, what they want and need, what they miss and so on. Yet never about war. "And in the end, of course, a true war story is never about war. It's about sunlight". War stories can be about different things like people the soldiers killed, how they talked to the dead, what they loved. All soldiers are different and have a different story to tell. "It wasn't a war story. It was a love story. This all fits in to O'Brien's writing style. However you have to look beyond what you have read to tell the reality from what has happened. All these stories that have been told at one point or another, in the story there has been exaggeration, lies, and truth. So go beyond to understand the mysterious ways of Tim O'Brien.

O'Brien's writing style has many different things to it. Yet his style all fits the subject matter. By how he describes the reality V.S. fiction. How he uses the burdens and emotions the soldiers carried with them throughout the war. He show the difference between story-truth and happening-truth by creating a story that is false yet trustfully illustrating the war.

In the end the book shows the meaning to all he soldiers that livers through to war and how their stories are passed around after they have left us. This book The Things The Carried was a great book and showed a lot of truth behind Tim O'Brien's past. So go beyond to understand the mysterious ways of Tim O'Brien.

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