Throughout history, every war has great stories that need to be heard. For the Vietnam War those great stories are captured in Tim O"Brien's story "The things they carried". Tim O"Brien was one of the most influential and talented writers of his time, and in his stories he unveils the truth and the facts of war and tells the readers that war is not fun and games it is serious business.
Tim O"Brien was born in a small town in Austin Minnesota on October 1,1946.He went to Macalester College and graduated in 1968 with a BA in political science. Though O"Brien was against the war in Vietnam he as forced to enter the armed forces soon after he graduated. After O"Brien got out of Vietnam he went to Harvard University. He eventually left Harvard to become a newspaper reporter which led the way to his brilliantly wrote novels. Besides "The Things They Carried," O"Brien wrote many other dazzling novels. Some of those novels are "If I Die In Combat Zone", " Going After Cacciato," and his most recent novel "In the Lake of the Woods"(Tim O"Brien's Biography).
In these novels, O"Brien discusses one issue that leads to a discussion of seemingly opposite issues. His novel "If I Die In Combat Zone" was a memoir of his Vietnam Tour and he describes his trip Vietnam back to Minnesota. In this novel, he emphasizes how casually death can come by describing the period of relative relief after a successful ambush. He says how the soldier may feel relaxed but that fear that death can come is still imbedded in their brain. In his novel " Going After Cacciato" he begins the story with a list of the dead soldiers in the platoon and has the protagonist of the story working on the order of the list throughout the novel. His intent in this novel was to let the reader make judgments about the morality of the war. He did this by showing the reactions of the soldiers and the innocent victims of the war. In another one of his novels "In the Lake of the Woods" he puts the frightening descriptions of what it is like to be lost in the wilderness (Retelling the Story: O"Brien's Use of Repetition for Effect).