Here’s another short clip of Tim O’Brien giving an interview. This one is only a few minutes long (7:30), and it’s meant for a more general audience. Please view it and then respond.
While you’re welcome to respond to anything about the interview that’s interesting to you, please be sure to touch on the subject of the novel’s status as fiction and/or autobiography. What were your first impressions? What does O’Brien reveal? Which genre do you think the book belongs in now?
After watching this interview, I think there is very little doubt as to whether the novel was a work of fiction or not. O’Brien states how he did a lot in his power to ensure that the reader feels as if the book is realistic including dedicating the book to his characters. Initially, the little dedication portion made me really question the book’s fiction status since if O’Brien was willing to dedicate this book to his real-life army troop, The Alpha Company, then his dedication to specific people must be real too, right? Not necessarily, his focus is to create the most realistic depiction after all.
For me, this interview does clear up and solidify some ideas that have been looping through my mind as we’ve been going through several class discussions. I think at this point, I can say with much confidence that this novel was not solely about war. Even O’Brien says it himself! There’s so much more to the message in The Things They Carried, and in my opinion, it is about . As for not focusing on his own life, O’Brien found it necessary to create this fictional novel to instill a more creative and interesting approach for his readers– to engage them and pull at their hearts especially with a strong message.
I absolutely love this book. The novel is absolutely pack-full of literary value. Furthermore, the built-in-message to the tragic stories and the war fully engaged me as the reader. Lastly, recognizing this book as work of fiction gives me no anger but rather I feel respect for Tim O’Brien the author instead of confusing him with Tim O’Brien the soldier.