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Tim O'Brien uses multiple literary devices to create mystery in the story all the events. All the events of the story are taken into consideration for making the events of the novel more realistic and mystic. Setting plays an essential role when Tim O'Brien in creating a mysterious scenario for the whole story.
The novel begins from with the couple arrival at the lake and the time that they spend in beside the lake creates the perfect setting for Kathy's disappearance. The environment creates harmony with the charters of novels, and their personality is revealed gradually. In the beginning, the reader see that the couple is happily married however when the events starts to unfold the readers can see the in-depth story of each character. O'Brien shows the background story in a nonlinear manner, so when a charter is described in the present time, then there are lots of mysteries surrounding each character.
War and childhood of John play an essential role when describing his character. In the beginning, the readers are introduced to a happily married couple but as the story unfolds the dark past of characters is revealed through a series of events from their life. The use of the lake as central setting increases the mystery surrounding all the characters that are present at the location. John is introduced as a loving husband but when the story unfolds the readers can see the darkness of his role. The background story of the two characters is so unique that it makes both Kathy and John questionable. The disappeared of Kathy can link itself to both John and Kathy due to this mystery even the missing person itself.
The Novel begins when a couple of Kathy and John arrive at the lake. Slowly events start to unfold from both present and past to describe the background nature of all the characters. Through the revelation of John's life both Kathy and John become the questionable characters. The setting of the lake makes the novel all the more mysterious.
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