Honors English Language Arts 9, Hour 7
16 April 2014
Tim O’Brien employs the elements Symbolism, Theme, and Author’s Style in his book The Things They Carried.
In The Things They Carried, symbolism is an element in the book. The whole book revolves around these symbols. The symbols presented in this book are the things that each person carried. In the beginning of the book, the narrator, Lieutenant Jimmy Cross tells the readers what each person carries with them, and how each and every item is important in some way. For the narrator, the important things he carried were letters from Martha. Martha is his love. He also carries his pictures. Lieutenant Cross valued these items dearly. He rereads the letters every night, and looks at her pictures every night. The author uses it well, by putting the symbols in the title of the book. “First Lieutenant Jimmy Cross carried letters from a girl ...view middle of the document...
“Church,” is about a discussion about interaction and religion with the Vietnamese people eventually comes downs to the last quote of the chapter. “‘You’re right,’ he said. ‘All you can do is be nice, treat them decent, you know?’” (123) If the reader looks up the word “redemption”, it says “the action of saving or being saved from sin, error, or evil” (Google). Henry stopped himself from doing evil.
Author’s Style is an important element in The Things They Carried. The author, Tim O’Brien is very detailed in his book. The narrator tells how much weight each person carries, giving an idea of what it was like in the Vietnam War. In the quote below, O’Brien is describing a picture. When the reader reads that, the reader instantly gets an image in their head of what is going on. The author uses it very well, by describing what is going on in the book. Instead of stating what happened, O’Brien tells every single detail. That impacts the reader’s enjoyment, because the reader can know what exactly is going on in the book. “The second photograph had been clipped from the 1968 Mount Sebastian yearbook. It was an action shot—women's volleyball—and Martha was bent horizontal to the floor, reaching, the palms of her hands in sharp focus, the tongue taut, the expression frank and competitive. There was no visible sweat. She wore white gym shorts. Her legs, he thought, were almost certainly the legs of a virgin, dry and without hair, the left knee cocked and carrying her entire weight, which was just over 100 pounds” (4) O’Brien explains the photograph of Martha. The reader can imagine her, in her volleyball gear and what Martha is doing in the picture.
In The Things They Carried, there are many elements. The main three are symbolism, theme, and author’s style. Symbols are the main thing in this book, the symbols are the things that the men carried in this book. There are countless themes in the book, but redemption stuck out the most in some chapters. Last author’s style, it gave the reader much enjoyment by painting a picture in the reader’s brain.