Tim O Brien's The Things They Carried

967 Words4 Pages
When an art piece is created, the artist wants to achieve something appealing, something exciting, something original, and most of all wants his work to be meaningful. This same sensation takes place when Tim O’Brien writes “The Things They Carried.” O’Brien is not afraid to “break the rules” of a classic novel, he is simply determined to leave an impact on his readers. Although O’Brien chooses to conform to the typical convention of characterization, he mainly strays from the norms of narrative structure, chronological order, and point of view to make his novel, “The Things They Carried,” an authentic war story. O’Brien deviates from the traditional conventions of a war story to, not only make the readers believe, but also to make his readers…show more content…
For instance , in “The Man I Killed,” O’Brien is seen as a character, whereas he is seen as the narrator in “Ambush.” O’Brien switches point of views to make us have different experiences; he is able to develop empathy with a second person perspective, create an objective view when using third person, and generate a personal connection with the use of first person. Accordingly, we experience sympathy for the character in “On the Rainy River.” Here, O’Brien explains his mentality and actions that took place when he was drafted; “Twenty yards. I could've done it. I could've jumped and started swimming for my life. Inside me, in my chest, I felt a terrible squeezing pressure.” (O'brien , page 56) Although we began to sympathize with the O’Brien, we, by no means, ever truly understand what O’Brien is really going through. In the next segment of the chapter, O’Brien instantaneously draws us in to this experience “ And I want you to feel it… what would you do? Would you jump? Would you… would you…?” (O’Brien, page 56) By shifting to second person, O’Brien directly addresses us, he solicits our view on the matter and asks what we would have done in this situation. We, then, become part of the novel; we are forced to step into O’Brien’s shoes and have the same experience. In retrospect O’Brien generates empathy because he wants us to feel the way he felt, he wants us believe, we were part of this scene and that give validity to his war
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