Reality In Tim O Brien's The Things They Carried

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Your perspective is your reality; true or not, it is. However, when startling events challenge your perspective, do you necessarily forfeit your sense of reality? Or does your “reality” change as you gain a different perspective? In harrowing experiences, such as war, telling the difference between the two versions can be monumentally confusing. Author Tim O’Brien, through his narrative, The Things They Carried, emphasizes the idea that perhaps there is no way to lose perspective; instead, experiences are constantly reprocessed and interpreted from many angles to facilitate a better understanding of a situation. However, until you can detach from a given situation, which in war is nearly impossible, confusion will prevail and clarity will remain…show more content…
But when you can take a step back from the turmoil, memorable moments, can potentially fall into place, creating a glance “across the surface of [your] history” (233). O’Brien appears to be trying to convey, through individual vignettes, the uncertainty and confusion that is inherent to traumatic experiences such as war, and thus the difficulty in codifying and recounting these experiences. Beyond this, the author suggests that, even when detachment is achieved, retrospective accounts of these situations may still lack deeper meaning. A “feeble swipe,” in the case of war, may reveal that events are truly what they physically appear to be – hell (79). By utilizing an emphasis on detail, repeated inconsistent recollections, and contrasting juxtaposed diction, the author appeals to the reader to understand the ambiguity of war and the importance of maintaining individual perspective, as truth is simply a perception rather than an

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