Things They Carried Rhetorical Analysis

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The Things They Carried, by Tim O’brien, is a story that narrates a war story of a group of soldiers. The story unfolds a series of stories lived within the time period in which these soldiers were stationed in Vietnam. O’Brien writes this novel focusing not only on one specific theme but on several. He develops his points by using imagery, symbolism, irony and other literary techniques. Also, his style of writing is beyond the traditional writing style, the novel has complex points and establishes an ambush feeling for the reader. The purpose of this novel is to remember or recognize what O’Brien lived while serving at Vietnam. However, the meaning of the novel is undefined. On all accounts during the novel we are introduced to one story…show more content…
“They were afraid of dying but they were even more afraid to show it.” Wrote O’Brien of why the soldiers concealed their fright. “It was what had brought them to the war in the first place, nothing positive, no dreams of glory or honor, just to avoid the blush of dishonor. They died so as not to die of embarrassment.” Added O’Brien later into the passage. These two excerpts explain how everything the soldiers did was because of their fear of being cowards. On the course of the war they build up courage and conformed themselves by acting brave when in reality they were mentally dying. They were not only fighting a war physically but they were also fighting a war against their emotions. The soldiers camouflaged their grief by acting tough and pretending to be adapted to an uncomfortable and dark environment. The blur of lines is another theme within the story. The advantage of naming the narrator after himself is that O’Brien had more control on what he wanted the reader to believe. This makes us as readers unrecognized whether or not what he’s saying actually happened. Storytelling is categorized as a motif but it was also presented throughout the story. By telling the reader the story the author evolves a sense of confrontation against the past and it makes it feel as though both reader and writer were doing it

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