The Things They Carried

Can you please analyze the very last sentence of the novel for me?

The last sentence is:

"I'm skimming across the surface of my own history, moving fast, riding the melt beneath the blades, doing loops and spins, and when I take a high leap into the dark and come down thirty years later, I realize it is as Tim trying to save Timmy's life with a story." (O'Brien, 233)

I know it is supposed to be really cathcing and you are supposed to remember it for the rest of your life. I dont get it though! What wow factor was i supposed to catch that i am missing?

Thank you!


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O'Brien is relating how his own stories provide comfort to him; it is the act of storytelling that puts his war into a perspective that he can live with. His metaphor of skating represents his lifelong reflection of his memories, the camaraderie and the terror he felt in war flow through his mind as if her were skating on them. His stories give immortality to those who have died.