Tim O'Brien Writing Styles in The Things They Carried

Tim O'Brien
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Point of View and Narration

The identity of the narrator in all the stories in The Things They Carried is of interest to critics and readers. In the title story, the narrator is unidentified, but in other stories he is a "fictional character named Tim O'Brien," explains the author, Tim O'Brien. The third person narrator in "The Things They Carried" is unnamed, but since the stories are interrelated, he may be the fictional Tim O'Brien. The narrator's job in this story is to describe the soldiers and the things that happen to them in the Quang Ngai province, particularly on and around the day that Ted Lavender dies. The narrator is technically omniscient, or all-knowing, since he is privy to the interior thoughts and feelings of the characters, especially Lt. Jimmy Cross. But O'Brien's narrator also behaves like a limited third-person narrator in that he only reveals partial, fragmented...

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This section contains 390 words
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Short Stories for Students
The Things They Carried from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.