The Legacy of Tim O'Brien - Free Essay in American Literature

Published: 2022-03-11
The Legacy of Tim O'Brien - Free Essay in American Literature
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  American literature
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1680 words
14 min read

My second favorite writer is Tim O'Brien. He was born on October 1, the year 1946. He was an American writer who wrote novels, short stories, screenplays, poems, and plays. During his time, The New York Times classified him as a Vietnam Classic in Literature for which he became widely known. Most of his recognized works include the following; Going After Cacciate, The Things They Carried, and If I Die in a Combat Zone (Minter). His works were mainly based on his experiences during the Vietnam War. I have selected O'Brien simply because he emphasizes on the need to do what you want as long as you have an inner passion for whatever you are doing. Secondly, he always believes that there are no shortcuts in getting things done, especially in writing. He continues to add that upcoming writers do not need to follow paths that are already heavily trailed with theories. By avoiding to do this, they can achieve what they are aiming to do as it will not just happen unless they think outside the box. Thirdly, he believes that people ought to learn from the mistakes that they have made over the years. Additionally, believes that no other artist in his field is better than him. As much as he could take advice from other writers and he would also admire seasoned writers, he always had the desire to beat them and be the best. This detailed paper aims to provide five reasons as to why Tim O'Brien is my favorite author.

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To begin with, Tim O'Brien always believes that it is better for anyone to do the things that they are interested in and are passionate about. He suggests that even a writer could take up surgery or even bricklaying if that is where their interest and passion lies. In writing and literature, he says that an author should utilize whichever skills and techniques that they possess in their literary works (Meriwether and Millgate). According to him, an author should embark on the type of work which interests him or her no matter what other writers are doing. He believes that there is always an audience that is ready for a new style of writing rather than the old obvious ones. In the quest to be unique, O'Brien emphasizes on the need to pay attention to details like himself as he is a good observer who takes mental notes of the things that are taking place, especially in Minnesota where he grew up. His ability to be observant is clearly evident in his novel Going After Cacciato. This added a special touch to his writing.

To cultivate further interest in his literary works, O'Brien has retained a high level of discipline. He believes in his self-discipline that no matter how many times he gets declined, he always rewrites his work, does proper editing, and constantly re-evaluates his work to improve the outcome. In his book If I Die in Combat Zone, he was able to change complex ideas and thoughts in a simpler manner and use simple language that was easy to be understood by his target audience. Being observant and having self-discipline are enough proof that he is passionately interested in his work. During his young stages of life, O'Brien spent most of his time listening to stories that were narrated by his elders. These stories were mostly from the Civil War experiences and slavery. He occasionally referred to himself as a war spokesman who just told people his experiences during the time he spent in the Vietnam War. His ability to transfer his experiences into writing was one of the aspects that made O'Brien a profound writer. He was able to communicate to his audience through writing and shared his experience during the war and the post war occurrences.

Tim O'Brien keeps saying that there are neither shortcuts nor a mechanical way of getting writing done. Authors have to work hard to come up with impressive literary works. O'Brien believes that writing is by far the most challenging work an individual can face, but he also thinks it to be the most rewarding of them all. He spends a lot of time and effort whenever he is writing to produce the best literary works possible. This is because he will spend time imagining creative concepts, writing things down and taking notes, erasing them, thinking all over again and rewriting the ideas he comes up with. To him, whatever becomes the end product his writing process is always the best his effort because he gives it his all. O'Brien believes that writing is still an essential way of helping him to clarify his thoughts because, during the writing process, he is able to transfer ideas and thoughts from his head on to a sheet of paper and elaborate them so that other people can understand whatever he was imagining. He believes that through writing, we can rectify a lot of social vices and change the world into a better place. To him, authors have to work really hard so that they can come up with written words that would have the potential of impacting the world than any other means of communication that exists. According to Tim O'Brien, written words are powerful because they are creative and imaginative ideas that have been well communicated in written form and for this, and they are unmatched. O'Brien emphasized that authors have to strive to come up with well-expressed ideas to change the holistic perspectives and opinions of their audience. His passion for work has a significant impact on me as an ardent reader as it makes it easier to understand and follow his ideas.

This remarkable author possesses a lot of free will and is always trying to be unique. He believes that there is no need for upcoming writers to follow the already set out theories and paths in writing. O'Brien refers to those who follow these tracks as fools who are unable to make sound decisions independently on their own. He is known to be very experimental in his form of writing. He particularly pays close attention to both fiction and reality in his writing. He often uses a stream of consciousness in his work and commonly writes about his encounters during the time he spent in the Vietnam War (Hoffman). His extensive use of conscious, explicit and meta-fictional approach gives his work a blurring distinction between fiction and reality. To him, being experimental allows him to be less afraid of failing as failure gives him a golden opportunity to learn more from his mistakes. O'Brien believes that being unique and innovative always brings about new opportunities for connection that enables him to open up to a new audience. He always feels that his creative way of writing gives inspiration to others and for this reason, he strives to establish an alternative life path for emerging writers to follow.

O'Brien emphasizes the need to learn from peoples own mistakes and errors. He believes that people are able to learn from what they have previously done wrong. On the surface, mistakes seem to be the end of everything but O'Brien understands that errors present opportunities for learning, growing and improving oneself (Millgate). In a person's lifetime, one makes a lot of mistakes along the way. These mistakes help to strengthen an individual's character, ability, shape their knowledge, and allow room for social development. He suggested that for errors to be of great value to other authors and people at large, people need to view them as beneficial and a crucial part of life that no one can possibly avoid. People have to embrace their own mistakes and exercise an open mind while dealing with them. To him, mistakes can have a great life opportunity if only people are free to learn from them and grow from the experience. Maintaining an open mind on errors has an influential impact on my view of mistakes, something that makes me enjoy O'Brien's written work.

O'Brien believes that no other author in his field is ever good enough to give him advice. He believes that soldiers can never teach anything important concerning the war just because they were once there. To him, people in his area of work cannot provide him with any new content but instead, he wants insights from people in other fields as they have different perspectives. They offer him an opportunity to get a different perspective on contemporary issues within the society. To him, receiving advice from people from different field facilitates the exchange and transfer of skills, ideas, and concepts. This is because people tend to use similar skills in a different field but only vary on how they apply them. O'Brien believes that people from his field are unable to introduce him to new networks which result in routine repetitiveness and staleness.

Finally, author Tim O'Brien believes that no matter how much he admires a particular older writer, he still has the intentions of beating them and becoming better than them. That is, he will strive hard in his work so that he can be a better version of himself and become better than his idols. His idols have already set their standards, and O'Brien's objectives are to attain those standards and even set the bar higher for the idols and other upcoming authors to aim.

Tim O'Brien's uses diversity in his work to create a wider view of his ideas and as well as the application of simple language to express his thoughts. His power to draw ideas from other people's stories and observations allow his audience to relate to the issues trending in today's world. He can learn from his errors and mistakes giving his audience an opportunity to embrace and have an open mind towards their lives' mistakes. In conclusion, O'Brien's ability to communicate his ideas and thoughts in well-structured literature has greatly impacted the world more than other forms of communication. This is one of the numerous reasons why I regard him as a great author whose literary works I immensely enjoy.

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