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Deaths effect on people in tim obriens the things they carried

Spin Quotes The bad stuff never stops happening: Tim O'Brien speaker Related Themes: Page Number and Citation: You take your material where you find it, which is in your life, at the intersection of past and present.

The memory-traffic feeds into a rotary up on your head, where it goes in circles for a while, then pretty soon imagination flows in and the traffic merges and shoots off down a thousand different streets.

  • Part of it—the piece about confronting death and dead bodies in Vietnam—takes place during the war;
  • It all comes back around to the epigraph —do we buy into his story-truth because he's a soldier, and must know what's true in wartime better than we do?
  • Instead, the lack of communication comes in later, when we've actually finished that last story.

As a writer, all you can do is pick a street and go for the ride, putting things down as they come at you. That's the real obsession.

Stories are for joining the past to the future. Stories are for those late hours in the night when you can't remember how you got from where you were to where you are. Stories are for eternity, when memory is erased, when there is nothing to remember except the story.

I couldn't tolerate it. I couldn't endure the mockery, or the disgrace, or the patriotic ridicule. Even in my imagination, the shore just twenty yards away, I couldn't make myself be brave.

  1. The memory-traffic feeds into a rotary up on your head, where it goes in circles for a while, then pretty soon imagination flows in and the traffic merges and shoots off down a thousand different streets.
  2. Part of the story—about Timmy and Linda —takes place before the war began.
  3. Page Number and Citation. I went to the war.
  4. All of these stories focus on death as well as the role of stories and memories in coping with death. I would go to the war—I would kill and maybe die—because I was embarrassed not to.

It had nothing to do with morality. Embarrassment, that's all it was. And right then I submitted. I would go to the war—I would kill and maybe die—because I was embarrassed not to. I passed through towns with familiar names, through the pine forests and down to the prairie, and then to Vietnam, where I was a soldier, and then home again. I survived, but it's not a happy ending.

The Things They Carried

I was a coward. I went to the war.

  • Stories are for eternity, when memory is erased, when there is nothing to remember except the story;
  • I couldn't tolerate it;
  • There is no rectitude whatsoever;
  • If a story seems moral, do not believe it.

It does not instruct, nor encourage virtue, nor suggest models of proper human behavior, nor restrain men from doing the things men have always done. If a story seems moral, do not believe it. If at the end of a war story you feel uplifted, or if you feel that some small bit of rectitude has been salvaged from the larger waste, then you have been made the victim of a very old and terrible lie.

There is no rectitude whatsoever. There is no virtue. As a first rule of thumb, therefore, you can tell a true war story by its absolute and uncompromising allegiance to obscenity and evil.

  • How to Tell a True War Story;
  • The book ends, however, with an oddly fractured story that's split three ways in time;
  • A thought-provoking ending, right?
  • Even in my imagination, the shore just twenty yards away, I couldn't make myself be brave;
  • A thought-provoking ending, right?