Argumentative Synthesis “The Things They Brought”
Argumentative Synthesis “The Important Things They Brought” Tim O’ Brien, having the memories of war engraved in his mind, remembers the memories of his youth during fight in “The important things They Brought,” an interesting collection of military accounts that symbolize his attempt to withstand closure from past experiences. O’ Brien’s story shows the difficult options people have to make in their battle to confront the war waging inside their bodies along with on the ground they tread.
In Steven Kaplan’s criticism, “The Undying Uncertainty of the Narrator in Tim O’ Brien’s The important things They Carried,” he explores the uncertainty and inevitability that depends on the path of each soldier through their military conquest of Than Khe. In context to O’ Brien’s story, author Tina Chen in her literary criticism, “Unwinding the Deeper Significance: Exile and the Embodied Poetics of Displacement in Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Brought,” captivates O’ Brien’s primary intention of informing a “true” war story.
These stories and journals can be manufactured together through paralleling ideas such as the idea of creativity versus reality, O’ Brien’s reliability to his story without outdoors sourcing, and the remaining uncertainty dividing the men’s sanctity of what lies beyond, both actually and figuratively.
Tim O’brien’s narrative, “The important things They Brought,” considers the value of reality versus personal importance, and through Kaplan’s “The Undying Certainty of the Storyteller in Tim O’Brien’s The important things They Brought,” and Chen’s “Deciphering the Deeper Significance: Exile and the Embodied Poetics of Displacement in Tim O’Brien’s The important things They Brought,” the two authors argue within the scheme of the imaginative American dream the concealed angst of the worthy; when confronted with adversity, the weight of ones pride surpasses the weight of ones fear.
The conversation in between creative information versus the concrete truth is argued between Kaplan and Chen’s criticisms. Within Kaplan’s criticism, he specifies that details of size and weight are repeated with “clinical precision” (Kaplan 44). This little information while insignificant to the reader in terms of physicality, is relevant in relation to a soldiers perspective where the bulge they bear is the compound to their being. Chen likewise argues that the bulges bared look like the “prospective home” (Chen 84) of the soldier’s soul.
The counting of products is a conscious guide to psychological sanity through concrete ownership. Chen argues a connection between body and place as an extended metaphor for the relationship in between relevance for things most individuals would hold no point of view value further than their apparent usage. Kaplan worries nevertheless, that even the most small information matter in differentiating in between the imaginary and the accurate. The certainties listed are only to structure guaranteed distinctions in between what is uncertain.
He enhances that this structure parallels the principle of O’Brien’s pattern of “mentioning facts and then quickly calling them into question” (Kaplan 45). This unequal consistency produces a dream like quality to the story. The theory made by both authors creates further relevancy into what might be simply a fictional coping mechanism to better the mental state of the hopeless battle in between acknowledging reality and accepting the reality in the face of death.
Furthermore past the morbid idea of war, the repeated desire for Martha to be a virgin as hoped by the stories protagonist and storyteller clearly examines the unattainability of reality to the story. “Definitely the legs of a virgin, dry and without hair,” (O’Brien 100) as stated by Lieutenant Cross, signifies the everlasting need to have an innocent and fictional escape from the harsh and unforgiving battlegrounds that consumes his relatively unobservant mindful.
Chen goes past the innocence element and thinks Martha is a “metonym for house and all its attendant images” (Chen 85). This picturesque persistence with Martha’s requited love gives idea “the idea and picture of house as it is embodied in Martha” (Chen 85). This issue for keeping Martha’s presence alive reverts back to keeping the American dream alive with the potential customers of prosperity within imaginary hope.
The products the soldiers bring hold a significant amount of reliability throughout each personal story; however, within O’Brien’s story, he lacks reliability aside from the apparent concrete elements of the products held, questioning where the fact lies within these evidential fragments of the soldiers’ lives. These individual accounts of exact measurements confirm the reader’s knowledge of war as well as the mental ability to calculate the specific weight upon each person’s bulge through a fiction of psychological and emotional agility.
O’Brien estimates within Chen’s criticism specifying, “A real war story, if really informed, makes the stomach think” (Chen 77). This background understanding of O’Brien’s theory that an “outright incident is unimportant due to the fact that a real war story does not depend upon that sort of fact,”(Chen 77) puts the reliability of the details upon the emotional accounts that O’Brien’s composing bestows upon the characters of the soldiers. The “scholastic tone that sometimes makes the narrative seem like a government report (Kaplan 45),” adds documents like analysis of these collections of war endeavors as informed by the storyteller.
Kaplan continues that the “transitional phrases such as “for instance” and “in addition,”‘ (Kaplan 45) along with “entire paragraphs controlled by sentences that start with “because,”” (Kaplan 45) encourage certainty of the important things they brought. The undertone of this literary work justifies the impression that the storyteller is giving truths of product belongings due to the unpredictability that is tragically identical from the minds of soldiers lost in an environment bereft of knowledge.
The multiple scattered points out of Lavenders death gather the psychological intricacy of the loss. The story informs Lavenders death in regards to Martha’s love stating, before he died,” Lieutenant Cross got a good-luck appeal from Martha” (O’Brien 102). This textual proof is reliable in relation to the stories time line gathering a external occasion to draw credibility to the transitional focal point of Martha’s “separate-but-together” (O’Brien 102) mindset evolving into a star-crossed lovers quarrel, that will never ever be fixed.
As formerly mentioned, O’Brien regularly concerns his own facts, which throws into question his general reliability. Nevertheless, Kaplan makes an appealing argument in regards to reliability on O’Brien’s behalf that integrates a design of composing that “from this uncertainty emerges a new set of realities about the same topic that are again cast doubt on” (Kaplan 45).
Chen argues that O’Brien’s “focus on the [readers] [stomachs] visceral action” (Chen 77) in response to the story even more provokes a literary “examination of the actual and metaphorical relationships” (Chen 77) concerning the imaginary military accounts and the soldiers responsible, particularly in mix of the psychological realities of psychological banishment with social ramifications of safeguarding a dream that potentially might never be personally attained.
Lieutenant Cross holds onto the worth of the physical weight of the products possessed; nevertheless, the emphasis within the two criticisms holds the concern upon all the factors that the soldiers could never fully understand with an additional tension on all the entities the men would never ever achieve. The reference of the particular conceals the absence of the unpredictable in Kaplan’s criticism. The unknown causes eternal dispute within every facet of these collections. Lieutenant Cross constantly replays distant memories of Martha’s being.
He fantasizes about his date with the girl in which he “touched her knee” (O’Brien 100). This sense of certainty over the short overwhelming contact between the two triggered Cross into a one method love affair in which he would hope that a person day her love would be requited into more than a generic “Love, Martha” (O’Brien 99) signature on a letter. His internal love is unattainable. In his ideas advances his enthusiasm towards an unsure entity to which he knows no concrete bounds.
Kaplan criticizes that “truth in a war story is an unclear utterance, a punch at the darkness, and an effort to rip through the veil that recuperates reality” (Kaplan 50). O’Brien’s characters pierce through the ordinary relativity of understanding and permit their lives to be controlled by the unpredictability of what might take place. The only continuous certainty, “they would never be at a loss for things to carry,” (O’Brien 106) stayed a still mystery in terms of specifics. Power lies in knowledge, yet the soldiers, removed of their hope for a controllable future, do not have the mental capability to grow within their methods as people.
Chen’s criticism states that in war, “the only certainty is uncertainty” (Chen 79). Nevertheless an unpredictability that holds certain is the possible to fear. The soldiers “were afraid of passing away; but they were more afraid to show it” (O’Brien 108). This unpredictability happened to them all; it was the greatest unpredictability. While death seemed scripted to our narrator, the damage left in the post-death reality of the staying soldiers developed a further alliance with personal uncertainties related to death.
Chen’s criticism theorizes from O’Brien’s “The Things They Brought,” that it is impossible to collect the psychological context or to understand precisely what happened in Vietnam. Nevertheless, with the connotation within his composing, one can hypothesize and empathize, to a degree, the grand scale upon which the impacts of the unknown are almost a greater tragedy than the fear that accompanies the known. Tim O’Brien’s narrative “The important things They Carried” compiles the imaginary yet gripping experiences of soldiers in Vietnams lost war, which “did more than redefine the mythos of war.
According to John Hellmann, it provoked a crisis in the really narrative of [the] nation” (Chen 47). Pre-Vietnam America represented a paradox of wanting peace yet wanting power more which diverted the American Dream into a stigma bereft of sensible desires at the cost of fictional gets away to shield further mental damage. Within the physical measurements of the objects carried, lies a dark truth into which society has actually obliged to enter.
Lieutenant Cross’s thirst for information relating to Martha’s virginal status, which represents the American Dream, represents the desperate desire to ideally have the dream Lieutenant Cross left, maintain a level of innocence in the wake of wars destruction. However, Lavenders death stimulates the fire that burns Cross’s imaginary escape into an intense pit of verification that can not be gone to, for in it’s satisfying fantasy gains a “esoteric fracture” (Chen 78) upon those who seek its refuge. Works Mentioned Chen, Tina. Unwinding the deeper significance”: Exile and the embodied poetics of displacement in Tim O’Brien’s The important things They Brought. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1998. 77-98. ProQuest Research Study Library. Web. 10 Apr. 2013. Kaplan, Steven. The Undying Uncertainty of the Narrator in Tim O’Brien’s The important things They Carried. N. p.: University of Southern Colorado, 1993. 43-52. EBSCO. Web. 10 Apr. 2013. O’Brien, Tim. The Things They Carried. N. p.: Esquire Publication, 1987. 99-111. Literature and the Writing Process. Web. 10 Apr. 2013.