After reading and finishing the novel, The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, I can definitely say for sure that I have a mixture of emotions after reading it in its entirety. Tim O’Brien, being both the author and a soldier in the novel, left me really interested yet confused throughout the novel. I still cannot tell if this novel is all true or made-up. Tim’s personal experiences in Vietnam through his detailed stories in the beginning of the novel drew me in so much as a reader that it seemed all real. However, Tim O’Brien’s quote on page 171, “…a long time ago I walked through Quang Ngai Province as a foot soldier. Almost everything else is invented” tells me that maybe all the stories and character weren’t completely true at all. However, even though the characters and stories aren’t completely true, they still offer a strong truth of what Vietnam was like.
As the novel continued, O’Brien went on and kept sharing soldier’s view of the Vietnam war, which was purely composed of young men who were sent over to fight a war that really no soldier understood. In my opinion, that’s the best part of the novel, reading about soldier’s point of views, not politicians or other outsider POV’s. This novel really kept me fascinated in every little short story. Overall, this novel by Tim O’Brien really impressed and enlightened me. The way that O’Brien’s describes his stores and characters was done very well that it seemed like everything was real from the beginning. Hence, after finishing The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, I feel more educated on how life was for US soldiers fighting in Vietnam during the Vietnam War.