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Notes on The Things They Carried

             The Things They Carried by Tim O' Brien, Pub.
             The author's reason for writing the novel was that he wants the reader to experience Vietnam much like he did. As is apparent in pg.179 when he states "I want you to feel what I felt". That being said O' Brien does not want the reader to feel sympathy for him or his fellow comrades, he wants them see what real war is, dispel all the stereotypes and just let them experience at least a bit of what he and others thought and saw. O' Brien also writes the book for himself as he states in pg.158 "By telling stories, you objectify your own experience. You separate it from yourself". In the book he also states something along the lines of this not being therapy for the war, however I beg to differ as show in the quote that this book might also offer closure for O' Brien. By writing he looks over his "experiences" and "separates it from himself" looks at it objectively and it makes him feel content with himself or at least helps him move on. Overall the book was mostly written for readers to feel the real war, experience it a little, and to make the author reevaluate his experiences and truly move on.
             3. To achieve his purpose the author chooses to tell a different story in every chapter, and every story has poses a theme. In some chapters he tells stories about the war and what he saw, who he killed, what others did, in other chapters he tells of things after the war and even before the war. In pg.179 he states "I want you to know why story-truth is truer sometimes than happening truth" meaning that throughout the novel he mixes in the truth with fabricated scenarios to better explain what happened, at one point he even admits that half the time even he himself who saw and experienced things didn't really know what was going on either. By mixing in the truth with lies the author is able to achieve his purpose.

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