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Post  KyleGibb on Thu May 05, 2011 1:21 am

Being that this book is basically a recollection of memories of Tim O'Brien , there is really no exact structure to it. He jumps in between different time periods and events, never truly establishing a beginning, middle, and end. This is clear in the first couple chapters when O'Brien jumps from talking about his time in Vietnam to when he was first being drafted back at home. Rhetorically, this method of skipping back and forth between different times serves to create a sense of realism. By only sharing the important stories and by only saying what needed to be said, O'Brien avoids any excess fluff and makes the book much more realistic. Overall, the structure of this book has an important effect on how the story is perceived by the reader.


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Post  RyanHarring on Thu May 05, 2011 1:34 am

While I agree with your response on most points, I feel that the type of "jumpy" structure that he uses does not create realism, more the opposite, I feel that it creates a sense of surrealism, almost as if I was having a weird dream. I feel that was a lot of the point of writing it that way, so that O'brien could express his feelings of misplacement, of how he felt like he was in an entirely separate reality, not in tune with the reality he had known previously. Maybe I misinterpreted the context you used realism, this sort of structure gives his stories a lot of credibility if that's what you meant, it all sounds like foggy memories of a war from over twenty years ago, giving it it's credibility.


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