The Things They Carried Metafiction Analysis

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Akshay Shewakramani Language and Composition 01/03/17 The Art of War Stories Conceptually, metafiction is a simple concept in nonfiction where the author is aware he is writing and draws attention to the fact that the piece is a work of imagination rather than reality. However, when used in actual novels metafiction can be one of the most confusing concepts. According to writer, David Foster, “If Realism called it like it saw it, Metafiction simply called it as it saw itself seeing itself see it.” Tim O’Brien’s, The Things They Carried, uses this idea of metafiction in order to draw out real emotions from stories where story truth triumphs over happening truth. In the chapter “Spin”, Tim O’Brien uses forms of metafiction to show the true impact war has on soldiers psychologically rather than physically. O’Brien does this by the use of metafiction throughout the novel coupled with the use of frame stories and bringing up a reoccurring theme of story truth versus happening truth throughout the novel. In the chapter Spin, O’Brien writes a short story where a solider escapes the war and is living happily with a woman on a tropical island with no intention of going back. Although only a paragraph long, O’Brien captures all the emotions present in war with the last sentence of the short story within “Spin,” “ All…show more content…
However, when used correctly coupled with the use of frame stories and the reoccurring theme of story truth versus real truth metafiction can transform any novel into a complex piece of literary genius. In the novel The Things They Carried, O’Brien uses these devices in order to draw out an emotional connection with readers. He writes about characters, stories, and events that truly showcase the internal psychological struggle soldiers at the time were dealing with whether it was before, during, or after the war. Although most of the stories are falsified, O’Brien makes it clear that the emotions are

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