Tim O Brien's The Things They Carried

1184 Words5 Pages
Everyone has their own secrets; their own inner desires, wants, and needs. Some secrets are personal, others have been passed to us; regardless of their purpose, meaning, or content, all secrets become burdens. Secrets do not have to be serious matters, or facts that others do not know; secrets can simply be things that pass through the mind in the form of thoughts that are never released to the world. Every person in this world carries a different set of secrets, and therefore their burdens are different; being more serious, or more weighted than others. It can be difficult to describe ones burdens, as they can pertain to very personal matters which would require a deep understanding of the person before interpretation could be carried out. This is especially true for novelists as they can either delve into their characters and have their short stories become novels, or they can keep to a concise page limit, and have few characters, or give little description of the characters. Tim O’Brien does this particularly well though a unique technique of introducing personal…show more content…
However, through his use of items in the story “The Things They Carried”, Tim O’Brien is was able to not only give detailed descriptions of his characters, but to also build a very enticing and engaging theme. “O’Brien felt that straight facts could not convey an experience as ambiguous and disturbing as the Vietnam war.” (Richardson). The items that he presents do this much more effectively than straight storytelling. The weight, the context, the purpose, the sender, and the owner of all the items in the story revealed many important details about each person and their burdens in a brilliant manner. Perhaps it can be demonstrated best through the age old saying, a picture is worth a thousand words; for it was with his vivid descriptions O’Brien painted many
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