When you really think about it, this book is not about going out there and fighting, the whole big deal, it’s not. Memory in time is what this novel is truly about. How far you dream it and think anything is what you will get out of it. The things that stay with us long after the fact, such as that red hat, become a part of us locked inside waiting for a time to let loose. The thing about life is you can live it, and be rest assured that you will not be forgotten. “The thing about a story is that you dream it as you tell it, hoping that others might then dream along with you.” (O’Brien 230). Emotion and desire to comprehend are so simple, yet so difficult to understand.
The memories are life’s journey, which can vary so much. Norman Bowker, for instance, decided that he could not handle the “memories” so he ended his life. Tim O’Brien like most of the others lived on, but differently. Although they ended their journey in that jungle, they continued it some where else. You just know that what sticks in the mind’s eye will not and cannot be forgotten.
The star shaped hole for instance or Kiowa’s boot are symbols. Although they can represent death, they are actually symbolizing the moving on of the world. Even in death we leave others with our former existence, and this is central to the entire novel. The knowledge of friendship, that brief yet everlasting interaction we leave with one another evokes an image that stuns a person. We cannot help remembering those things we attempt to push aside. It is those things whether they are battles, people, or a particular event that live on. Tim O’Brien’s recollections of endeavors in his life are what the book is. In essence however, it is that fact that everything in life we do counts, because it lives on in the persistence of memory.

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