The Good News (and Who’s Listening) in Tim O’Brien’s The Things they Carried

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John Ruff

Abstract

In reading The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien, one is likely to notice that the book’s stories of the Vietnam War often allude to the New Testament. What exactly is the author hoping to accomplish with these connections? This essay proposes that in creating characters reminiscent of Jesus, Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, O’Brien means to illustrate the power of stories to save those who are open to receiving their truth.

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