The Things They Carried Essay

Submitted By landabomb6
Words: 477
Pages: 2

In the vignette “Good Form” out of the book The Things they Carried, O’Brien admits to telling the “story-truth”, not the “Happening-Truth”. This changes my view on the vignette “The Man I Killed” because in “Good Form” O’Brien admits to never seeing the faces of men he’s killed so that makes the vignette “The Man I Killed” just a humanization of the faceless men that O’Brien has killed in Vietnam. This book is essentially three literary categories in one. It is historical due to the accurate depiction of the war in Vietnam and how it portrays the mindsets of the soldiers during the war and facing all the psychological hardships that they had to go through. It is autobiographical because of the way O’brien tells the stories as though they were first hand experiences. And finally the story is fictional because of the vignettes that show the “story-truth” and not the “happening-truth”. I believe that if O’Brien had told the vignette “The Man I Killed” using the “happening-truth” that the story would have been entirely different because not only would O’Brien have not been talking about the man and his distorted features, but the story would have been about O’Brien seeing a faceless and nameless body without any backstory and denying himself the fact that he killed that man instead of coming to accept the fact that he did. This book helped me realize many things about life, vietnam, and even war in general. “The Things They Carried” isn’t only a saying for the guns and ammunition and other weighted objects they had, it is also a saying for the mental and emotional strains and hardships that these men had to carry with them.Whether it be death, or love, or sentimentality even, these men