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Prompt: In “A Short History of the Short Story,” William Boyd gives a short hist
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Prompt: In “A Short History of the Short Story,” William Boyd gives a short history of the short story and classifies the story as several types. “Fundamentally, up until the beginning of the 20th century, you have the two great traditions: the event-plot story and Chekhovian story” (3). Among the “other varieties,” he adds the “cryptic/ludic story” (also known as the “suppressed narrative”), the “poetic/mythic story,” and “the biographical story.” How would you classify Tim O’Brien’s award-winning short-story “The Things They Carried” (also part of his genre-defying “novel”-in-stories The Things They Carried).
Review Boyd’s short essay and O’Brien’s story and explain which category you think “The Things They Carried” belongs. Use short quotes from both texts to support your answer. If you think it belongs to more than one category, explain and defend. Then build on that classification and discuss what you think the story is about. It is a story rich in metaphors (i.e. “to carry”; “weight,” among the most significant). When discussing the story and what you think it means, consider its use of metaphors and how they are being used by O’Brien to communicate the point of his story. 0
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