The Things They Carried

The Things They Carried

The Things They Carried

In, The Things They Carried, Tim O?Brien drifts away from the trendy war novel in which the author describes actions in an attempt to place the reader in the war. Instead, he focuses on the thoughts of the soldiers, the inner feelings, and small personal nuances in an attempt to place the reader in the men. In addition, he employs the stylistic technique of specific, conscious detail selection and utilizes connotative diction, allowing him to create a new literary art form. The splendor of the novel is in O?Brien?s ability to convey a multitude of ideas in so few pages, which he displays through and ensemble of motifs. One such motif, the ?heart of darkness,? shows how the smoke from the war, both figuratively and literally, blackens the soldiers, burning their hearts to atramentous ash. O?Brien makes apparent the ?heart of darkness? motif in Norman Bowker as he becomes hardened during his sojourn in Vietnam. Norman Bowker, described as ?a very gentle person? (13), is inherently very good-natured. However, he ?carried a thumb?dark brown, rubbery to the touch?cut from a VC corpse? (13). This image evokes a picture of a hard-mannered, emotionally devoid soldier, carrying a

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