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Word Count: 848
Often times there is much more to a story line than characters narration and dialogue Physical objects many times plays an important part in the plot of the story Significant objects in stories can be very simple objects but have a nonliteral meaning that is important to the plot The Things They Carried by Tim OBrien is an example of a story in which objects significantly enhances the characterization of all of the characters This story takes place in Vietnam during the Vietnam war in approximately 1968 This war setting is appropriate for its publication date in 1990 the first year of Desert Storm Tim OBriens The Things They Carried uses objects to make statements about character traits to contrast the non-literal objects that the men carried and they also make Jimmy Cross a changing character OBrien uses objects to make indirect statements about the characters of the story by listing the things that they carried The reader does not get a vivid picture of the character but rather a hint of his personalities and interests In paragraph two OBrien lists briefly what each of his men had in his possession Roberts and Jacobs 61 By saying that Dave Jensen carried a toothbrush soap and dental floss one can imply that this man is clean and well-maintained Another example of objects bringing out personality traits is Ted Lavender carried tranquilizers seven ounces of weed and the unweighed fear He appears to be very nervous and gets uptight easily Kiowa carried a New Testament with him which might imply he is a religious man with Christian views These hints do not tell much about their traits however without them the characters would be nothing more than a name Another way in which objects play a significant role in the overall plot is that they contrast the figurative objects such as Jimmy Crosss love for Martha a girl back home OBrien objectifies the burdens and problems
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