The Things They Carried: Writing about the Past
The Things They Carried is a fictional book by Tim O'Brien based on his real life experiences in the Vietnam War. A collection of war related short stories, this book makes no attempt to hide the grisly truth of the war. One of the main themes of the book is the main character, named after the author, using writing as a way to escape the reality of the war's terror and as a way to change the past, in a sense, at least inside of his mind.
It's a wonderful view on veteran writers as a whole using their stories as a means of release and escape from their gore-filled memories. The Things They Carried helps the reader understand why war veterans would need such a release so often, why writing causes such relief, and how writing about the war can help change the past from the perspective of the writer. Continue reading