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O’brien’s Writing Style

In: English and Literature

Submitted By vuonghia
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My Thought on O’Brien’s Writing Style

Authors always have specific writing styles to attract and influence their readers. In the novel, The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien uses selected diverse writing techniques to support what he intently wrote. In my opinion, these techniques are very immediate and compelling for his readers as well as are essential to support non-fiction writers’ styles. Tim O’Brien uses symbolism, common language, and fiction writing in his novel for the purpose of showing his readers the big picture of US soldiers in the Vietnam War.

For one thing, symbolism is a technique that uses a word, a phrase, or a description in order to represent a deeper meaning than the words themselves. In the first chapter of The Things They Carried, the author states, “Jimmy Cross carried letters from a girl named Martha,” ‘Ted Lavender, who was scared, carried tranquilizers, 6 or 7 ounces of premium dope” “Norman Bowker carried a diary. Rat Kiley carried comic books. Kiowa, a devout Baptist, carried an illustrated New Testament.” By listing the daily-using things the soldiers carried, the author not only indicates the soldiers’ characteristics but also implies unseen things as the love of Jimmy Cross for Martha, the fears of facing the unknown dangers from the mysterious land. By using of this technique, O’Brien can put messages behind the certain words so that his readers can actually understand what are being implied. Relate back to the thesis.

Another technique O’Brien uses in his novel is common and conversational language. “Sure, Norman Bowker said. Say what you want, the man does care. We all got problems. Not Lavender. No, I guess not, Bowker said. Do me a favor, though. Shut up? That's a smart Indian. Shut up,” “After a moment Norman Bowker sat up in the dark. What the hell, he said. You want to talk, talk. Tell it to me. Forget it. No, man, go on. One thing I hate, it's a silent Indian.” O’Brien likes to use conversations in his chapters for the reason of bringing the real feeling of being in those conversations to the readers. In addition, he doesn’t hesitate to use slang as fuck off, shut up, or damn in the conversations. Those words are considered to be inappropriate in writing, but Tim O’Brien smartly makes them sound hilarious. The author is interested in all kinds of language to make his novel more common and easier to fit all kinds of readers. O’Brien tells the whole story based on his memories; in fact, The Things They Carried is a fiction story. Through the book, he tells not only his memories but also other friends’ memories that occur during Vietnam War. He collected some small story from friends then put in the novel. An example is the last chapter. One more thing, the names of the characters in the book are not the real name. Author changes all the real names probably in order to respect his friends and also make his novel a fiction one. The way he turns a non-fiction story to fiction story makes readers more interested in the novel.…...

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