“The Things they Carried” short story by Tim O’brien


To present how the short story discusses the weight of war and the psychological costs.


The Things they Carried has been described both as a novel and a collection of short stories. Written by a known literary icon, Tim O’Brien, The Things they Carried comes with a mixture of literary traditions.  This novel is a memoir of war and also an autobiography that describes the experience of Tim O’Brien. It is believed that Tim O’Brien creatively builds a protagonist sharing his name. However, this novel is a fictional work and not a non-fiction historical account.  According to Bonn (7) Tim O’Brien is a Vietnam War veteran and in this novel, he reworks the memories of war during his services as a soldier in the war. To  build different themes, the author tells a number of semi-autobiographical stories illuminating characters of different men whom he had served together during the war.  There are different themes that are explored throughout the novel but most important the novel explores the weight of war and psychological cost.