False Truth In O Brien's The Things They Carried

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Human beings often claim to be searching for the truth. The truth often entails finding the right answer, choice, or formula. The search for truth develops a tendency to settle for the easiest choice—a false truth; more often than not, a false truth goes unquestioned in order to remain benighted. Concerning the false truth in The Things They Carried, information—specifically memories, must be sorted into two categories: those stories that are true and those which are simply glorified recreational war stories. It would be a near impossible task due to the extent that the tales mix. Rather, the significance of O’Brien’s work is his utilization of a metafictional novel as a representative vehicle for the Vietnam War.Within The Things They Carried …show more content…

You separate it from yourself. You pin down certain truths" (158). O’Brien makes numerous conflicting comments on storytelling during certain chapters of the novel, such as "How to Tell a True War Story." By making these comments, the narrator not only justifies the objective of The Things They Carried, but also provides clues regarding the content, composition, and interpretation of the novel. O’Brien states that: "In any war story, but especially a true one, it's difficult to separate what happened from what seemed to happen.What seems to happen becomes its own happening… The angles of vision are skewed" (68). Comparably The Things They Carried is written in this fashion. Each of the characters such as Curt Lemon, or Rat Kiley are killed and then later introduced, or the narrator undercuts the truth that had only just began to be trusted, as in the case of Norman Bowker's suicide. A true war story is differentiable because of " the way it never seems to end. Not then, not ever" (76). The perplexing feeling of these stories never develops into a story of complete closure, the only exception being a case where the character was killed. However, each individual death had an impact upon the lives of the people who have survived. Although, even the end of the novel itself

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