{October 4, 2009}   book test 1
  1. Research methods used by the author

According to O’Brien (1990) many years after the war, Jimmy Cross had visited him in Massachusetts. They talked about everything they had seen, done and things they carried through their lives. This ended when they found themselves on kitchen table with 100 old photographs of Rat Kiley, Kiowa and Mitchell Sandes.( pg 27).

After a while Norman Bowker had written him a disappointed letter in which it described the problem of finding meaningful use of his life after the war and suggested to him.  Tim writs a story about a guy who feels like he got zapped over in that shit hole and he was given the permission to use the contents to write a book. (pg155)

These were his methods of research because images and letters are used to express a moment in time. They are evidence of actual events in which they were fragments of their past lives. The author had also experienced. A letter is a document with the purpose of relating a message to a recipient. We as individuals can relate to it because we use them to express our individuality and will.

I feel the author is a researcher because he himself had experienced these horrific events and managed to proceed with his life after the war, which was a self observation from his own point of view. Therefore his connection to war stories is more of  a clearer picture of what his writing is about. He had the courage to revisit the scenery which one of his closest friends died in, in order to come to peace with it. For most he had written many other books and to be able to piece up memories into a book needs a lot of critical thinking of what would appeal to his intended audience.

2.Rhetorical devices

Pathos and ethos



O’Brien (1990) illustrated the use of pathos when he spoke of how

In late August  Dave Jensen and Lee Strunk  made a pact that if one of them should ever get totally fucked up in a wheel and wounded, the other guy should automatically find a way to end his life. When Lee Strunk stepped on rigged mortor , it took part of his leg and tried to get up but fell hard, the stump on his legs were damaged. He tried to reach down so as to massage his missing leg and lost consciousness.  (Pg 65)


The emotional attachment I have towards this quote is pity and sorrow.  I understand that in the friends’ pact killing the other would have served the injured less pain than bearing the guilt of ifs and maybes filled with wishes. Because they feel living as an injured man is worth less and no use to themselves and war. Burdening their loved ones was not an option and it would be a better fact for them to know they died in battle in the field than in a stretch bed/ wheel chair. I feel pity for them because they viewed their life’s worth as objects not a treasure, because an object is easily disposed off when a defect is detected. A treasure is kept until the last bit of its existence is chipped the bone. Rather than to pick up what left of themselves and live with their families and catch up what you missed out on when their presence was dearly missed. Therefore there sorrowfulness is measured by their selfishness.




O’Brien (1990) mentioned that Lieutenant Jimmy Cross stood fifty meters away from the angle they were positioned in the shit hole in search of Kiowa’s body. The Lieutenant seemed to have finished drafting the letter in his head in which would have went to Kiowa’s father….(pg 167)


It is logical reasoning to explain to the deceased family the cause of death of their loved one. Just in case any ritual is needed to be done before burying them. If it’s the case to what extent does the state of the body allowed to make the ritual.

It is also the right of the leader to acknowledge it if he was present.





3.  O’Brien (1990) hooked his audience when he referred to Lieutenant Jimmy Cross carrying letters from Martha which were not love letters but ordinary friendly letters that had got him to take his time off from the war. In order to be in touch with other world they had left behind, he would reminisce after a long day. These letters were obtained from a foxhole which was the hiding place.  (Pg 1)

It captured me because I would expect him to keep his letters in his pocket or inside his bag which had personal possessions. But for him to go to great lengths and secure its existence, it really showed that to him it was worth more than the basic necessities he carried for survival. The authors’ friend had an imaginary mind, to have thoughts keep him calm and settle indicates that the friend might have studied psychology before he came to war. Otherwise he could have his used the negative energy he got from the war to be abrupt towards his fellow soldiers.  The author did this to show that the simplest of things have a greater impact and we should learn to appreciate life as it comes as it would only be as good as you make it. It is likely what we would have and would not forget and doesn’t cost much.


O’Brien (1990) also mentioned that

…..Now and then, however, there were times of panic, when they squared/wanted to squeal but didn’t, when they twilled and made mourning sounds and covered their heads and said Dear Jesus and flopped around the earth and fired their weapons blindly and cringed, sobbed and begged for the noise to stop and went wild and made stupid promises to themselves and to God and to their mothers and fathers hoping not to die…. (pg 19)

Obviously the author would expect us to think that in a war duties have to be carried out and regulations followed promptly. But when our minds get tired of the same old routine, we as individuals do not react accordingly as emotions would always get the best of us whether we highly are experienced. It has no time limitation, acting like you don’t know helps to ease the thought of a possibility of death. When you’re put in the place of a child life feels simple but if reality dawns in stupidity is a better explanation for the action.



















                                                                                 Reference: list

O’Brien, T. (1990). The things they carried .  New York. Broadway


marlen says:

Excellent work!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

et cetera
%d bloggers like this: