The Things They Carried

June 3, 2010
More by this author
Through out the book The Things They Carried there were many of misleading stories. A story was always being told in numerous ways, making it hard for the reader to believe. It goes in depth with the stories being told so much that the reader doesn’t even think twice about it being non-fiction until you read the back stating that its fiction. It may seem tangible to the reader because the story is because told to try and make you feel as if you were doing what they were.

In the chapter “Ambush” Tim tells a story of killing a soldier boy. But in two other chapters the story is told just in different detail. Tim quotes in the chapter “Ambush” “I threw a grenade that exploded at his feet and killed him”. Then in “The Man I Killed” O’brien never killed anyone. But it’s the same story as “Ambush” except O’brien never said he did it, making the story sound fake. It was blatant when something is fact or fiction.

“I’m forty-three years old, and I’m writing now, and a long time ago I walked through Quang Ngai Province as a foot soldier. Almost everything else is invented (pg 179). That right there makes the whole book fiction. Even though you might not want to believe that it’s not true, it isn’t. People get so hooked on to the stories and believe that they are so real then they think it must be all true.

In conclusion the Things They Carried is intangible. Just because a book sounds doesn’t mean it is true. People tend to over exaggerate the stories they talk about. A war story can be told many different ways by the same person, or even someone else who was their. So the next time your grandpa is telling you a war story don’t believe everything he tells you. Though everyone has there own volition to believe what they want.

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KidB1963 said...
Jun. 12, 2010 at 10:55 am
I think the author is trying to make the point that war is such a bizarre and unreal experience already that the only way people who have never been to war could understand is by making it fiction.  Real war is so close to fiction already, that the lines between what's real and what isn't overlap and eventually don't matter at all.  Or at least, that's what I got out of it.
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