The Things They Carried TWIST Analysis

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TWIST-ing The Things They Carried

Example



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Activity Overview


Another great way to engage your students is through the creation of storyboards that examine Tone, Word Choice, Imagery, Style, and Theme. This activity is referred to with the acronym "TWIST". In a TWIST, students focus on a particular paragraph or a few pages, to look deeper at the author’s meaning.


TWIST Literary Analysis

( TWIST Lesson PlanBuy PosterBuy PDF )

Using an excerpt from O’Brien’s story of when he almost went AWOL, rather than get drafted, students can depict, explain, and discuss what the impact of telling this story is for O’Brien, while getting a good idea of his voice.

TWIST Example for The Things They Carried

This is one story I’ve never told before. Not to anyone. Not to my parents, not to my brother or sister, not even to my wife. To go into it, I’ve always thought, would only cause embarrassment for all of us, a sudden need to be elsewhere, which is the natural response to a confession. Even now, I’ll admit, the story makes me squirm. For more than twenty years I’ve had to live with it, feeling the shame, trying to push it away, and so by this act of remembrance, by putting the facts down on paper, I’m hoping to relieve at least some of the pressure on my dreams.



Tim O'Brien The Things They Carried

T

TONE

O’Brien is hesitant, reluctant, ashamed, and hopeful that telling the story will ease his burden a bit.
W

WORD CHOICE

embarrassment, confession, squirm, shame, relieve
I

IMAGERY

"...I’m hoping to relieve at least some of the pressure on my dreams."
S

STYLE

O’Brien utilizes parallel structure to emphasize the fact that he has held this secret inside for a long time. He uses the phrase, “not to” and “not even”, which points to people he probably should have told, but has not.
T

THEME

This passage highlights the burden of this secret shame that Tim O’Brien has been carrying, showing the greater theme of the emotional burdens people carry and hope to relieve somehow. For O’Brien, he hopes that writing out his confession will ease his guilt.


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Template and Class Instructions

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Student Instructions

Perform a TWIST analysis of a selection from The Things They Carried. Remember that TWIST stands for Tone, Word Choice, Imagery, Style, Theme.


  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Choose any combination of scenes, characters, items, and text to represent each letter of TWIST.
  3. Write a few sentences describing the importance or meaning of the images.
  4. Finalize images, edit, and proofread your work.

TWIST Template

Template


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Rubric

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