Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried: A Second Revision In Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, a distinction is made between “Tim” and “Timmy” when O’Brien speaks of Linda and his truer than true love and understanding for her. She called him “Timmy” while she was alive and dead, except she never did really die—she was present in “Timmy’s” dreams. This distinction between “Tim” and “Timmy” is that the older “Tim” now still keeps the younger “Timmy” inside himself.
At forty-three O’Brien says that he is young and happy and that he will never die. He implies that nine-year-old “Timmy” lingers within “Tim’s” mind, body, and soul. Linda comes into play when O’Brien creates her as a representation of “Timmy.” Similarly, “Tim’s” young spirit has experienced his own past in growing up and undergoing changes like that of Linda’s, before and after her death. As a writer now, O’Brien wants “to save Linda’s life.
Not her body—her life” (236). This quotation shows that Linda is “Timmy” because later in the chapter O’Brien links it to his realization of “Tim trying to save Timmy’s life with a story” (236) by giving both quotes the same definition—that the story of “Timmy’s” life is the story of Linda’s.
In this book “Timmy” vicariously lives through Linda, who acts as a medium. This warm place is where he is able to pour out all of his dreams and emotions without having any feeling of humility or awkwardness. After she was dead, Linda said “Timmy, stop crying” (232); O’Brien animates Linda by allowing her to speak after her death because he feels that that is what a story does. O’Brien means that the story of Linda represents “Timmy.” The young boy, nine, was so peculiarly similar to Linda that “Tim’s” story of her had to be...