The Things They Carried By Tim O Brien: An Analysis

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While dreams guide the narration of The Corpse Washer, the central motif in The Things They Carried is storytelling, with personal reflection by the author Tim O’Brien, seen through his own semi-autobiographical character, Tim O’Brien. Composed of short, fantastical stories that O’Brien repeats, changes, and claims are true only to later reveal they are false, reality is continually questioned in the text. Instead, O’Brien focuses on memory and fantasy, utilizing a number of different perspectives to convey an ironic national and self-awareness of new wars that conveys both personal as well as national trauma (Carpenter 48). O’Brien is not concerned with the truth and states “A thing may happen and be a total lie; another thing may not happen and be truer than the truth” (O’Brien 80). …show more content…
Just as art (and its removal) functions in The Corpse Washer as a record of history and memory capturing the present reality of global warfare, Jawad’s Professor quotes Picasso in stating: “art is the lie that represents the truth”, to Tim O’Brien fiction is the lie that represents the truth (Antoon 547). However, through the representation of storytelling, time, and trauma in The Things They Carried the function of storytelling is challenged, and there is a contrast between storytelling and silence in dealing with trauma set-up in The Things They Carried through the character Tim O’Brien to Norman