Alexie's 'How To Tell A True War Story'

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Reality and Truth What is reality? Different people might have different answers to this question. Everyone has his own way to see things happen in a particular situation. Alexie’s text entitled “Because My Father Always Said That He Was the Only Indian Who Saw Jimi Hendrix Play ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ at Woodstock” talks about reality and truth. In this text, a family problem is shown in different perspectives to show each character’s understanding about the problem. In fact, Alexie defines reality as the way an episode seems to happen to people who are living that moment. On the other hand, in the text “How to Tell a True War Story” O’Brien says that there is no absolute reality or truth. People choose what to remember and how…show more content…
Alexie says “But however memory actually worked, it was my father who climbed on his motorcycle, waved to me as I stood in window, and rode away” (330). With this quote, Alexie gives the idea that the truth is what is in our memory. People just show their perspective about an episode because that is what is in their memory. Many times when people tell something that happened in past, they just tell the things that they can remember. In other words, they are going to say the best part or the most remarkable part of the episode. Also, this Alexie’s quote shows that the thing that can influence the most in the truth is memory. He also wants the audience to think that if their memory does not work, they will not know the truth about something that happened. O’Brien says “What seems to happen becomes its own happening, and had to be told that way” (559). This quote supports Alexie’s idea that truth is what you remember from an episode. People always tend to tell the story in the way that it seemed to happen to them. After an episode that was presented by different people, there will be different versions about that episode. This happens because most of the people try to remember what seemed to be true to them. In addition, O’Brien’s idea is to show that the truth is always what people want to be true to someone. In other words, the truth is…show more content…
Alexie says in his text “My mother did her best to explain to me…” (330). This quote shows that the truth and reality do not just depend on the person who is telling the story. When people tell a story, they do their best to make the story seems real and true. However, it does not depend only on the story teller. It most depends on the audience or the person who is listening to the story. With this quote, Alexie wants the readers to understand that reality is tied to the audience. The audience can make a true story seems false and vice versa. O’Brien says “Sanders made a little sound in his throat, like a sight, as if to say he didn’t care about if I believe it or not. But he did care” (560). This quote from O’Brien’s text explains Alexie’s idea that the truth depends on the audience. People care about the audience. When someone tells a store, he or she will care about his audience. He or she will think if the audience his taking that story as true or not. The audience determine what is true or real and what is not. In other words, the listener will make his interpretation in the story, and take the parts that seem true to him and ignore the parts that seem false. O’Brien’s and Alexie’s ideas about reality support each other. In the other words, they want to
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