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Word Count: 435
Tim OBriens The Things They Carried is not a novel about the Vietnam War It is a story about the soldiers and their experiences and emotions that are brought about from the war OBrien makes several statements about war through these dynamic characters He shows the violent nature of soldiers under the pressures of war he makes an effective antiwar statement and he comments on the reversal of a social variation into the norm By skillfully employing the stylistic technique of specific conscious detail selection OBrien thoroughly makes each point As George Carlin once said to a New York audience We love war We are a warlike people and therefore we love warCarlin 1992 This view is common today among Americans since the advent of long-distance warfare and bright colorful explosions however in the gorilla warfare of Vietnam the grudging participants loathed the idea Tim OBrien very effectively portrays their hatred and the severe negative effects the war had on American soldiers in his excellent convincing novel The Things They Carried The skillful choice of details and several types of diction that reveal his theme of induced violence his anti-war statement and his view of the reversal of morals among GIs are effective in presenting OBriens views in this OBriens use of specific and connotative diction enhances the same theme the loss of sensitivity and increase in violent behavior among the soldiers The VC from which Bowker took the thumb was just a boy13 giving the image of a young innocent person who should not have been subjected to the horrors of war The connotation associated with boy enhances the fact that killing has no emotional effect on the Americans that they kill for sport and do not care who or what their game may be Just as perverse as killing boys though is the killing of a baby85 the connotation being associated with human infants even though it
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