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The intention of the following text is to elaborate the use of meta-fiction and narrative layering in Tim OʼBrienʼs The Things They Carried through writing a narrated interview with Tim OʼBrien regarding Part Fourʼs study: Literature and Critical Study. Using quotations/transcriptions of Tim OʼBrienʼs statements within the fictional interview will support the structure of the text accordingly as a narration of an interview. First, I will address Tim OʼBrienʼs brief biography regarding his career, education and works. The narration will continue with an introduction from the interviewer, briefly regarding his works and the incorporation of observed application of meta-fiction and narrative layering. Then, a personal acknowledgement of the use of meta-fiction and narrative layering in his work, The Things They Carried, will be mentioned discreetly and indirectly.
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Within Speaking of Courage, a character ʻTimʼ is present. Written in third person narrative, and having the same name as the author, I personally thought that Tim, the character, was Tim, the writer. Though the literal Tim OʼBrien addressed that “I am Tim, Tim OʼBrien, but Tim is not me.” I gave him a blank stare, attempting to understand his point then I realized that he used narrative layering within his work. The first layer can be considered as when Tim, the character, heard about Bowkerʼs story, then the story lead to the second layer at which Tim, the writer, made it seem like Bowker is retelling the story. In fact, the whole story itself, is narrated by a fictional narrator, this discovery is and can be seen as the third and final layer.
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Layered Narrative Storytelling: A Journalistic Standard for Creating . Last accessed 23rd May 2014. . Waugh, Patricia. Metafiction: The Theory and Practice of Self-Conscious Fiction. NY: Routledge, 1984. .
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Steven Kaplan discusses this point in his essay “The Things They Carried includes staging what might have happened in Vietnam while simultaneously questioning the accuracy and credibility of the narrative act itselfâ€¦ the reader is permitted to experience at first hand the uncertainty that characterized being in Vietnam” (Kaplan 48). The protagonis...
Narrating with his typical method of fragmented stream-of-consciousness, Tim O’Brien recalls his past experiences as a soldier and creates a meta-fiction that illustrates the Vietnam War as a senseless paradox. “‘How to Tell a True War Story’: Meta-fiction in The Things They .
In this essay, I will discuss the blurry border between truth and fiction in O’Brien’s Vietnam War stories, The Things They Carried. Readers know that the story contains fictional detail after being told several different ways; they have been notified that The Things They Carried is a fiction.
The Things they Carried . They find that many of the same things haunt them now as haunted them then, only they are at totally different places in their lives.
In The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien narrates the various experiences of the Alpha Company which includes the many horrors they experienced as well as the many coping mechanisms that they employed in order to surpass those horrors. In O’Brien’s narration of the first chapter of the book, it illustrates how different the soldiers are and yet how a...
(O’Brien, 1998) Readers accept this balance mix-up of reality and invention but O’Brien, however, does not allow his readers to take these things for granted and inquires the whole idea of memoirs, recollections, and the short capability of memory to communicate the reality with accuracy. This tool also helps the writer to play and employ some untru...
I have found that a good strategy to use when reading this book, is to remember that often times things are not what they seem. All of these components working together are what has mad the Things They Carried, such a critically acclaimed book.
The true weight of the things they carry is the purpose for which they were designed: to kill other people. The Things They Carried.
“They are also defined as men, differentiated from the group because of the things they carry, the objects the comfort them individually may also alienate them from one another” (Piedmont-Marton). In “The Things They Carried” Tim O’Brien wrote in a third person narrative explaining each soldier in a stream of consciousness.
But when Tim decides to pull out, Azar goes through with the prank anyway and then kicks Tim in the head for being weak. He’s always boasting about how tough he is, or saying incredibly insensitive things; however, sometimes he can be really funny, or pulling an insane prank on a fellow soldier.
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