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Word Count: 807
It was necessary and crucial to for The Things They Carried to be written anachronistically and in short story form to convey the messages and themes of the novel Tim OBrien would not have succeeded in communicating his points to the reader if the novel was written as one long chronological story There are three main themes that emerge from The Things They Carried story truth vs happening truth the fact that one can make deceased people come alive through stories and that the war corrupted people and made them lose their innocence The Things They Carried is a collection of related short stories about the Vietnam War One of the themes that permeates the book is the theme of story truth vs happening truth OBrien believes that in order to make the reader feel what was going on in the war or the happening truth it is necessary to create a story and exaggerate a little These stories are called the story-truths Throughout the novel OBrien interjects and explicitly tells the reader that the story he is telling is not completely true rather its a story truth In the chapter entitled Good Form OBrien states that almost everything he writes is invented Earlier in the novel in the chapter entitled How to Tell a True War Story OBrien also implies that his stories are not true The short story format allows OBrien to interject and tell the reader not to believe what he is saying However if the book were written chronologically and in the form of one long story OBrien would have had to awkwardly insert passages about story truth vs happening truth in the middle of the story Those passages would have seemed out of place because the story would have had a certain flow to it However by writing anachronistically and in using short stories OBrien allows himself to insert chapters about story truth vs happening truth without disrupting the
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