The “Truth” Inside “The Things They Carried”
In order to captivate and relate to their audience, Authors, many times, use crafted words or phrases repeatedly. Through repetition and imagery, Tim O’Brien fully engulfs the reader into the details of “truth” in his book “The Things They Carried” to break the wall between reality and fiction.
Throughout “The Things They Carried”, O’Brien tests the readers understanding on whether the book is a tale of fiction or a true event that took place. To encourage the idea of the story as a true event, he creates a sense of reality to the reader with the use of repetition and the mental image he paints in the mind of the reader. O’Brien continuously repeats the phrase “The things they carried…” (pg. 2) followed by a long list of objects and memories that weigh the soldiers down both physically and emotionally. As a person reads the first chapter, they themselves begin to feel the weight of everything listed because the images they picture in their head while reading toys with that wall between reality and fiction. O’Brien’s elaborate tale between the lists of the things they carried on the death of Lavender and the other men’s way of coping also help the reader better picture and relate to the story being told. Because the reader can almost feel as if they were personally inside the story and can feel what the characters feel gives them the assurance that “The Things They Carried” comes from the eyes of a man who personally witnessed the tale. O’Brien led the audience to believe the “truth” by repetition and crafted vocabulary, only to have them feel confused and running back to question whether the book is true or just another fictional story.