Response to Question 3

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Response to Question 3

Post  Connor Leardini on Mon May 09, 2011 10:22 pm

As argued earlier on in the week, the genre that this novel can be categorized under is, essentially, up for debate. In my opinion, however, I believe that it should go under Historical Fiction, for a number of reasons. Firstly, it accurately depicts a war setting, and sets the mood to accentuate the ambiance of the cruelty and danger that war ascribes. The events have been altered slightly, but still account actual significant events that transpired during the war in Vietnam. Due to this fact, the concept of war is touched upon, accurate background information is given, and different perspectives regarding the war are introduced and described. Yet, at the same time, the character's recollections and specific actions in the story are not true, therefore have to be automatically categorized as Fiction. On the other hand, the characterization of war and its effect through differing outlooks is still a main priority throughout the book. In turn, the categorization still corresponds towards a historical background, making it suitable to be categorized under Historical Fiction.

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Response to Connor

Post  Carol Fontaine on Mon May 09, 2011 11:01 pm

I understand your analysis of the genre, but I feel that the novel is more of a memoir. As it is a collection of short, historical stories, that are slightly embellished, the title of historical fiction is appropriate but not entirely accurate in summarizing the book. Perhaps the most important aspect of the novel is that each story is a direct memory of either the author himself or a memory that has been told to him about the same time period. Most historical fiction works are full stories that are entirely made up but have some relations to historic events. Considering this is not the case, labeling The Things They Carried as historical fiction can be seen as a misrepresentation. I don't know what the official title of the genre would be called, but in my opinion it is roughly a combination of the 3 characteristics, possibly a historical fiction memoir.

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Response to Conner

Post  Stephvil on Mon May 09, 2011 11:19 pm

I recognize your opinion, but like Carol I am in agreement that the novel takes on the approach of a memoir. It tells things in his perspective, in his eyes through out the entirety of the story minus Rat telling O'Brien's story in his place. Though like you stated the genre is in fact one of debate, and in all reality either answer holds its ground.

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Response to Connor

Post  AviHershkowitz on Mon May 09, 2011 11:33 pm

While I agree with both of your assumption that the Novel is portraying stories in order to establish a sence of historical significance and remembering, hence calling it a memoir, specific events that took place during the war, I believe that the novel was trying to shed new light on the subject of the Vietnam War. Being that the majority of the American population was on the homefront during the war and many of the soldiers were to nervous about reconnecting with their war time stories to share them, this novel seems to show the soldiers perspective on the war. Although many of the Americans livibng at home during this time seem to feel as if they have plentiful knowledge reguarding the war it is fact to say that they did not, do not, or possibly could have any idea what happened over seas so it is safe to say that many people were in the dark reguarding what was going on. On the other hand the Soldiers were obviously well aware of what was happening in Vietnam and many soldiers find it diffucult to tell stories of death, murder, and utter masecure of some Vietcong and American troops. This being said I feel as if this Novel served the purpose of informing the public on the actual and mental events that the soldiers experienced because of the war.

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Post  SandraJozic on Mon May 09, 2011 11:40 pm

Conner, I agree with your "historical fiction" perspective. Although the topic is debatable and can be looked at from many different points of views as you said, I feel as though historical fiction most accurately depicts the story. With the content focused on the influence and actual events during the Vietnam war, makes it fall under the historical section. The fact that his ideas were altered slightly with inaccurate evidence to intrigue readers and put emphasis on the events and behaviors during the war make the piece of work fictional.

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Post  SandraJozic on Mon May 09, 2011 11:43 pm

*Connor, sorry about the typo!

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Re: Response to Question 3

Post  KyleGibb on Tue May 10, 2011 1:07 am

Earlier when I posted a new topic on this question, I had a very strong opinion that this novel was undoubtedly a memoir, and I would have agreed completely with what Carol mentioned above. However, after reading all of these contributions, I realize my opinion may have been too judge-mental of the surface content of the book. I now realize that Connor's opinion that this may be a historical fiction novel has a high degree of relevance as well. From that perspective, I can see that the fiction element is definitely there because the personal accounts of some of the people are sometimes dramatized, exaggerated, or even not true at all. For this reason, the book perfectly fits the requirements for being a historical fiction novel because it obviously focuses heavily on the Vietnam War and the effects of it on the characters, but at the same time it sometimes sways from that historical viewpoint and branches into more personal, and fictional aspects of the characters' lives. Overall, this book can fit into the category of a memoir or historical fiction, it just depends on personal interpretation.

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