Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 1

Roland Barthes s quote raises the central question in the novel The Things They Carried of, How

did Vietnam affect the soldiers that fought in it? O Brien throughout the novel wants the reader to answer the question based on his unique writing technique. Ultimately, he answers the question by showing the lives of several soldiers in his platoon. By revealing their internal conflicts that arise during and after the war, he proves that emotional distress is more intense than the actual physical hardships faced in Vietnam. Literature is the question minus the answer, directly correlates with the novel and Tim O Brien as an author. He presents the question early and makes the reader infer their own answer. His use of lying in some chapters and truth in others allows the reader to find a more profound meaning to the novel. By interpreting the lies the same way as truths, the reader can comprehend O Brien s story better and in more depth. He uses this to confuse the reader to an extent, but helps them discover hidden questions and themes which contribute to the central idea of, How did Vietnam affect the soldiers that fought in it? Without the lies in the book, the horrific accounts would not be as detailed and the central question would not be answered. He uses several characters to try and answer the question he presents early. For example, he tells the reader about Jimmy Cross s meeting with him years after the war. He says, He still never forgave himself for Lavendar s death, demonstrating that the pain and remorse of Lavender; death had stuck with Cross years after the war. Norman Bowker is used similarly, he begins the chapter Notes by saying, Years later he hung himself in the bathroom of a YMCA, which allows the reader to comprehend the effect of Vietnam on the soldiers of his platoon. Through the character of Jimmy Cross and Norman Bowker, O Brien gives the reader hints on how the question, How did Vietnam affect the soldiers that fought in it, should be answered.