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Tim O'Brien's book, The Things They Carried,is a series of stories about the men of Alpha Company and their experiences of the Vietnam War. It is a classic piece of American literature which explores perceptions, memory, courage, fear, peace, and redemption. While most of the stories are in first person, Tim O'Brien does employ third person occasionally to allow his fellow platoon soldiers, like Mitchell Sanders and Rat Kiley, to tell their own stories. He also uses third person when telling about his own emotionally haunting experience in "The Man I Killed" so he can in a sense keep his pain at a distance. Third person is used in the title to emphasize the universality of the burdens of pain and anguish we experience not only in war but in life.
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