Question 3

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Question 3

Post  KyleGibb on Tue May 10, 2011 12:43 am

Although this book can be argued for falling under a number of different genres, I believe that it is mostly a memoir. As opposed to historical fiction or even historical non-fiction, memoirs are composed of a personal account of events that cover a wide range of times, in this case it was spread across O'Brien's lifetime. He jumps from different time periods and tells stories pertaining to the war, and then once in a while will tell a story such as "On the Rainy River" which goes back to his life before Vietnam and the events leading up to it. Despite this, many elements of the book are non-fiction. The real war events described are historically accurate, so one could argue that the book is mainly non-fiction, but then again many other factors have to be considered. For example, the perspective of the narrator, O'Brien, is too personal and emotionally involved for this to be considered non-fiction, or even historical fiction. Overall, based on O'Brien's personal accounts of events leading up to and during the Vietnam war throughout his lifetime, this novel can best be interpreted as a memoir.

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Re: Question 3

Post  Domdith on Tue May 10, 2011 8:31 am

Kyle, I do agree with your claim about this being a memoir but I feel like the book is not just strictly about the author Tim O'Brien himslef. Each soldier shared a huge emotional burden as the title of the book states. I think that this book would be considered a emotional tragedy because of the narration of what the guys went through. Many of the characters or people in the Things they carried lost loved ones in the war and many of the soldiers had a very hard time dealing with the deep sadness when they were at Vietnam or when thery were back home. An example of this is the story of Norman Bowker who ended up killing himself three years after returning home from war. It is very sad to think about how deeply war effects the people involved and the the soldiers loved ones back home.

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Re: Question 3

Post  tia94 on Tue May 10, 2011 9:26 am

I agree with both Kyle and Dominith. This book can be considered a memoir, because it contains memories from O'Brien's past that he has experienced along with other soldiers as well. I think this book was a way for O'Brien to express himself, it was a way for him to tell his story as a Vietnam Veteran. I guess it's a different way of coping, unlike Norman Bowker, who was alone and had no one and no means of telling his story, O'Brien decided to write a book about his experience. Even though not every stories in the book is true but the feeling is the same.

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