Who Are The Characters In Tim O Brien's The Things They Carried

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title In the book Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, she discusses various ways to read and write. Although many aspects of the writing process are addressed in her novel the three I found most valuable when reading Tim O’Brien’s novel, The Things They Carried, were the importance of knowing your characters, how to create a plot, and the value of dialogue. Using these tools as a magnified glass when reading I was able to view the book with a new perspective and gain an overall better understanding of the book and its characters. Characters are the heart and soul of every book, however in The Things They Carried the heroic characters are not only the heart and soul of the book but of our country. These relatable characters pull on the heartstrings and we can really see O’Brien come to life in his writing, just like Lamott said, “ characters are you or some faucet of you.” (Pg. 45) Since O’Brien really did fight in Vietnam I not only found him to be a reliable narrator, but I trusted his every word because he actually lived through the entire plot. As Lamott quoted Ethan Canin “ nothing is as important as a likeable narrator. Nothing holds a story together better.”(Pg.…show more content…
If you focus on who the people in your story are, if you sit and write about two people you know and are getting to know better day by day, something is bound to happen.” (Pg. 54) O’Brien of course was in Vietnam with the members of Alpha Company daily, so getting to know his characters was the easy part. Surviving the war was the hard part, and that’s how his plot blossomed from his characters actions. The different objects they carried like M-14’s, the AK-47’s, and Jimmy Cross’s love letters all contributed to the plot differently, if O’Brien hadn’t developed the characters first like Lamott suggested then each item wouldn’t have effected the plot so

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