O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried”

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Truth in Things They Carried Tim O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried” is a set of short pieces that tell narrates the stories of soldiers in Vietnam during, before and after the war. He depicts how the war was cruel and how it lead to many adverse effects on people. The narrator illustrates the ambiguous and surreal nature of the war, the alienation in the Vietnam War as well as the inadequacy of facts in the communication of various essential truths. According to O’ Brien, there is the truth as we live it and as we tell it, but these two are not compatible all the time. According to him, there are times when a story’s truth can be truer than the happening truth. In “The Things, They carried” there is a blurry distinction between truth and fiction. O'Brien in “The Things They Carried” uses metafiction to draw a line between the truth and fiction. The book relies on the supposition that truth depends on the situational context and what is going on in the person’s mind. According to Patricia, metafiction is a fictional writing which systematically as well as self-consciously shows that it is an artifact to elicit questions about the relationship that exists between reality and fiction (Waugh 69). In his dedication, O’ Brien gives his dedication to Noman Bowker, Jimmy Cross, Henry Dobbins, Mitchell Sanders, Rat Kiley, Kiowa and all the men of Alpha Company (O’Brien 7) This seems odd as all these are fictional characters in the book. He wanted to trick the readers into believing that they were real people when in the real sense, they were just fictional characters. The real intention may have been to dedicate the book to all the Kiowas, Crosses and

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