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Reading Military Character in Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried and Phil Klay's Redeployment

thesis
posted on 2015-04-16, 00:00 authored by Aaron S Mann
I propose that O'Brien and Klay present an alternative to plot structure as a means of presenting the experience of the combat soldier in war literature. If we are to embrace the belief that war's inherent confusion, anxiety, and resistance to coherent storytelling makes a construction of narrative through the traditional modes of plot unsatisfying, then what do O'Brien and Klay present as an alternative? What we see in both works is a development of character as a means to tell the story of war. Because of the distinctive qualities of military culture, which inculcates its own ethical code of conduct that distinguishes its members from the civilian public by a peculiar relationship to the body politic, the cultivation of character within the context of combat provides a unique opportunity to develop narrative outside the conventional constructs of plot.

History

Date Modified

2017-06-02

Research Director(s)

Sandra M. Gustafson

Committee Members

Barbara Green Jesse Costantino

Degree

  • Master of Arts

Degree Level

  • Master's Thesis

Language

  • English

Alternate Identifier

etd-04162015-141820

Publisher

University of Notre Dame

Program Name

  • English

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    Masters Theses

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