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The Perception Of War In The Things They Carried

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In America, media outlets have a huge responsibility to inform the people. This is extremely important in society and can influence how people think. Media outlets need to create an accurate portrayal of the world around us people. This only furthers the need to be transparent and actuarate. However, everyone has a bias and a narrative. The media and politicians alike often tell lies to further their narrative. They use emotional stories that could be plausible to create truth through the power of storytelling. For example, many news outlets used imagery of a child hurt in a bombing to generate support for war with titles such as “Boy in the ambulance: shocking image emerges of Syrian child pulled from Aleppo rubble”. In The Things They Carried, the author developsinventscreates a narrative about the Vietnam war and his experience. Highlighting the tragedy, physical and mental pain to make the readers understand. Tim O’Brien believes that a story’s role in creating reality is to alter the events by creating new details, to create a narrative, and to influence the perception and emotions of its readers.

Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried is about influence, imagination, perception of warwar, memory, imagination, and the power of storytelling. A story’s role in creating reality is shown through the stories “Field Trip” “Rainy River” and “Field Trip” “Rainy River” in “The Things They Carried”. O’Brien returns to Vietnam many years after his time on dutytour of duty and recollects events that happened to him. The book blurs the likes of reality to accommodate for the information available today regarding the war and to further the narrative Tim O’Brien wants you to see. The stories are revealed to not be “happening-truth,” known as “the accurate and verifiable account of historical events”, and actual “story truth”, in “which the details are invented for the readers experience” ( The events of “Rainy River” and “Field Trip” are “true” in an ordinarya ordinary conventional sense but are fiction. They are based on things that happened to Tim in real life but are embellished to create a meta fictional narrative.

In The Things They Carried are “On the Rainy River” and “Field Trip.”show how Tim adorns the truth. “Rainy River” shows a younger Tim O’Brien. Just after graduating college, where he leaves home to go on a fishing trip near the canadian border to contemplate being a draft dodger and fleeing to Canada. In “Field Trip,” O’Brien goes back to Vietnam years after his tour with his daughter to try to help find peace and better his mental state from the tragedy he lived through. When reading the storyThings, you turn ed the page to find that neither of these stories aren’tis “true.”

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Tim says “I never ran away to the Rainy River. I wanted to—badly—but I didn’t.” While O’Brien did serve in a war he was against, however he never made a trip like the one told in “Rainy River;” and his thoughts were just in his own home. When O’Brien returns to Vietnam in 1994, we went with his girlfriend. His daughter didn’t go because he reveals he hasd no children.

The Things They Carried builds emotional investment in characters, and then makes you question everything that you have been told. All the supporting charactersof the people you have come to know don’t exist. All the details in each chapter are made up. O’Brien even said “Jimmy Cross never visited me at my house in Massachusetts, because of course Jimmy Cross does not exist in the world of objects, and never did. He’s purely invented, like Martha, and like Kiowa or Mitchell Sanders and all the others.”() He does this to manipulate objective realities. Even after you are told the truth you are still questioning it. Similarly to the allegory of Plato’s cave, you are manipulated into believing one thing. Someone finds the light and exposes the truth to the prisoners in the cave but they don’t believe him, they cling to what they know. There is a psychological reason as to why facts don’t change peoples’ minds; Part is “The misinformation effect”.

Tim’s use of storytelling makes you question what truth really is. He makes it difficult to read a historical text or an eyewitness report. After all, Winston Churchill once said, “History is written by the winners”. This is implying that whoever is most influential, or powerful “writes” or influences how historical events are remembered. It also argues that History isn’t grounded in facts and truth only interpretation.

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The Perception Of War In The Things They Carried. (2022, Jun 29). Edubirdie. Retrieved November 26, 2022, from
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