In Tim O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried” detailed description and
realism were used to capture the audience and draw them into the actual events in the story, allowing them to feel the burden of emotional and physical weight on the characters, who were fighting to preserve their sanity and lives. The vivid detail and realistic narration were only tools used by the author to prepare a story that goes beyond the war in
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the elements of a work of fiction to justify calling it a story. There was special emphasis on detailed description and realistic narration – a result of the author’s own experiences. It was a story about the human spirit under extreme psychological pressure at an age when life was just beginning, and how each soldier dealt with the circumstances.
McCarthy, Joanne. “The Things They Carried.” Contemporary Literary Criticism. Vol.
103. Detroit: Gale Research Co., 1998.