Masks of Altered Reality

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Pages: 8
(approximately 235 words/page)

Essay Database > Literature > English
In Timothy O'Brien's novel, The Things They Carried, a number of insightful themes are forwarded by the author. One theme in particular interests me the most; the subject area is how people handle their emotions through the avoidance or distortion of reality. Specifically, throughout the novel a number of characters respond to the emotionally charged realities they are confronted with in one of two major ways, distortion or escapism. This pattern, shown throughout the novel, …

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…quite a valuable document for examining how people deal with their emotional baggage. The repetitive avoidance through either escapism or distortion is an insight this novel gives us about people at large. As said on page 21, "By and large they carried these things inside, maintaining the masks of composure." Given this observation, it might be said that some people wear masks that alter their perception of reality and others wear masks that give them flight.