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What are examples of some literary terms in The Things They Carried?

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shelby03 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 22, 2010 at 4:38 AM via web

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What are examples of some literary terms in The Things They Carried?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 22, 2010 at 9:56 PM (Answer #1)

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Well, you certainly have quite a list there in your key word tags! You need to remember that enotes specifies that you can only ask one question, and so obviously I am unable to respond to every single example you are after. My best advice to you is to read this excellent collection of stories--you won't regret it, as they are great! A wonderful read.

Just to get you started though, there are some great examples of similes in "The Things They Carried" that are used to describe how soldiers died when shot. Consider this example:

There was no twitching or flopping. Kiowa, who saw it happen, said it was like watching a rock fall, or a big sandbag or something - just book, then down - not like the movies where the dead guy rolls around and does fancy spins and goes ass over teakettle - not like that, Kiowa said, the poor bastard just flat-fuck fell. Boom. Down. Nothing else.

Note here how the young recruits who have not experienced death before are trying to reconcile the reality of being shot dead with what they have experienced before through films. The simile, "like watching a rock fall", emphasises the way that the soldier just dropped dead, lifeless, straight away, no shouting or cussing or pain - just dead. Note to the broken sentences at the end to emphasise the suddenness and the simplicity of his death. It is almost as if Kiowa wanted something more to show that death isn't easy and that it is a struggle. The implication is that if one man can be killed so easily, then they are obviously all in danger of dying in a similar way.

Hope this helps. Good luck for finding the rest of your list and do enjoy these short stories.

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