Things They Carried Tim O'Brien's Term Paper

Length: 2 pages Sources: 1+ Subject: Literature Type: Term Paper Paper: #96340302 Related Topics: Field Trip, Brave New World
Excerpt from Term Paper :

I can make myself feel again (O'Brien, p. 180).

And, through story truth, what the story is able to do for O'Brien, it becomes able also to do for the reader.

In "The Lives of the Dead," O'Brien further elaborates on his need for stories universally. Through make-believe -- imagination, stories, fiction -- O'Brien finds that he can not only resurrect the dead but also lay a barrier between himself and death. His response to the death of Linda is a retreat into imagination, just as the response of the soldiers of Alpha Company to the corpse of the old man by the pig pen is to engage in an elaborate game of make-believe: "It was more than mockery" (O'Brien, p.227). O'Brien's distress as the bizarre ritual unfolds is related to his inability to participate in the imaginative fiction occurring, through which the other soldiers cope. "It was my fourth day, I hadn't yet developed a sense of humor," (O'Brien, p.226). Similarly, O'Brien...


Norman Bowker failed to find that expression -- except perhaps in his letter to O'Brien -- and so, after circling, for a long while, the lake in Iowa -- which is also the shit-field in Vietnam -- he commits suicide. O'Brien, circling both that lake and field, did find an avenue for that expression through the Things They Carried and his other war novels, and so accounts himself better adjusted, even if not perfectly so. Despite all his efforts the need for stories remains, and the author recognizes this, of course: "But this is true too: stories can save us," (O'Brien, p. 225).


1. O'Brien, Tim. The Things They Carried. New York: Random House, 1990. Print.

2. SparkNotes Editors. "SparkNote on the Things They…

Sources Used in Documents:


1. O'Brien, Tim. The Things They Carried. New York: Random House, 1990. Print.

2. SparkNotes Editors. "SparkNote on the Things They Carried." SparkNotes LLC. 2002. Web. 6 May 2010.

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