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The Things They Carried Powerpoint Recreation

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English Quarter3

on 31 May 2012

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Transcript of The Things They Carried Powerpoint Recreation

O'Brien's Books
“All of O’Brien’s stories take place both in the physical world and in the head, and both realms interact and modify each other” (11). He also contrasts realistic and idealistic characters.

For O’Brien “fiction and language…do not mirror life: they transform life” (18). Meta-Fiction
“O’Brien edits reality in an attempt to dramatize important events and issues and lend them a type of clarity they do not possess in the often mundane world of facts and literal truths. For O’Brien, a story is ‘true’ when it makes ‘a believer out of your stomach’ “ (10.)

Meta-fiction: A work that self-consciously comments on itself as a made-up story—the author comments on the storytelling itself.
- O’Brien graduated with a B.A. in political science from Macalester College in 1968 and received his draft notice a month later.

- He had misgivings about the war in Vietnam but, due to familial pressure, he enlisted (“On the Rainy River.”)
O’Brien was inducted into the US Army August 1968 and left the war March 1970.

- He writes about his Vietnam experience in his personal narrative (If I Die in a Combat Zone) and in fictional form (Going after Cacciato & The Things They Carried).a The Biography, Themes, and Style of . . . In . . . The Things They Carried With excerpts from Steven
Kaplan's "Understanding Tim O'Brien" - Growing up in a small-town greatly influenced him (and many of his characters as well.) - According to Steven Kaplan, Minnesota native Tim O’Brien was “ strongly influenced by the conflict heencountered between the Midwestern environment in which he grew up and the decadence and violence of the world which he came into contact when he left the Midwest” (1). Biography - Both his parents were avid readers and passed on to O’Brien a love for storytelling. College & Vietnam - In Vietnam, O’Brien began “jotting down stories about the war, at least in part as a means of coping with the war.

- Gradually, these stories began to accumulate, and they ultimately developed into the war memoir he published after the war. The Vietnam War also plays an important role in all of his novels. Had he not gone to Vietnam, Tim O’Brien might not have become a writer. As he once said: ‘I think I was kind of dragged into being a writer by life itself’ ” (5). Vietnam's Influence on O'Brien's Writing
1970-76: Graduate student at Harvard but never finished his dissertation:“Case Studies in American Military Interventions”

Summers of 1972-73: Interned with the Washington Post

1973: Publishes If I Die in a Combat Zone, a true narrative about his experiences in Vietnam.

1974-May 1975: Began working full time for the Post covering politics, Senate hearings, first oil boycott, etc. Life After the War
1975: Publishes Northern Lights

1976: Wins O.Henry for short story

1978: Going After Cacciato is published; wins second O. Henry

1979: Going wins National Magazine Award in fiction

1985: Publishes The Nuclear Age Life After the War - Continued
1986-1990: Publishes short fiction in Harper’s Magazine, McCall’s, Esquire, Playboy, Granta, Quarterly and Gentleman's Quarterly

1989: Short Story “The Things They Carried” wins National Magazine Award in Fiction.

1990: The Things They Carried is published. Selected as one of the year’s ten best works of fiction by the New York Times. Also receives the Chicago Tribune’s Heartland Prize. Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Life After the War Continues - II
1991: Wins Melcher Award for The Things They Carried

1992: Wins Prix du Meiller Livre Etranger award in France for TTTC

February 1994: Returns to Vietnam for the first time since his tour of duty.

Since then, O’Brien has continued to publish novels, stories and articles. He is still writing and speaking at universities today. Life After the War Continued - III
“O’Brien equates fiction and storytelling with exploration and discovery. In fiction the limited facts of memory and reality are reconstructed, and a boundary is crossed into a realm of infinite possibilities. The process of exploring new possibilities by telling stories ultimately lead in O’Brien’s works to a notion of reality that places storytelling truth above the veracity of facts. O’Brien believes that storytelling is often truer than the “truth”” (9). Fiction + Storytelling= Explorations & Discovery “O’Brien edits reality in an attempt to dramatize important events and issues and lend them a type of clarity they do not possess in the often mundane world of facts and literal truths. For O’Brien, a story is ‘true’ when it makes ‘a believer out of your stomach’ “ (10.)

Meta-fiction: A work that self-consciously comments on itself as a made-up story—the author comments on the storytelling itself.
“All of O’Brien’s stories take place both in the physical world and in the head, and both realms interact and modify each other” (11). He also contrasts realistic and idealistic characters.

For O’Brien “fiction and language…do not mirror life: they transform life” (18). O'Brien's Books
Each chapter is an independent story with a beginning, middle and end.

His writing is compressed, rhythmic and has a “tendency to make broad leaps between areas of internal perception and
external reality (13). He also uses repetition of words and phrases and “his reductionist style almost becomes impressionistic” (16). O'Brien's Writing Style
“In an effort to depict a larger picture with as few words as possible, O’Brien interweaves short declarative sentences with sentence fragments and piles on image onto image. He also appeals to all of the senses without making a reader feel overwhelmed by sensory information because his style is suggestive rather than purely descriptive” (16). Works Cited
Kaplan, Steven. Understanding Tim O’Brien. Columbia, SC: USC Press, 1995. Print. Prezi by: Erin Gustafson Hannah Ligon Chris Sullivan Andrew Loesch and
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