If at the end of a war story you feel uplifted, or if you feel that some small bit of rectitude has been salvaged from the larger waste, then you have been made the victim of a very old and terrible lie” (O’Brien 65). O’Brien continues that when hearing a true war story it can be very difficult to separate the truth from the lies of the story, this is simply because the war is so unpredictable and horrendous it has the ability to make some seemingly impossible events a reality. Everything that goes on in a war a true war story will live the listener speechless, despite all the unbelievable events that may have taken place on the battlefield because “you can’t help but gape at the awful majesty of combat” (O’Brien 77). In conclusion, Tim O’Brien states that a true war story will not leave anything out no matter how grotesque the truth may be, also a true war story makes it nearly impossible to distinguish fact from fiction as “war is hell, but that’s not the half of it” (O’Brien 76). The tell-tale sign of a true war story is
“The way the sunlight came around him and lifted him up and sucked him high into a tree full of moss and vines and white blossoms ” The way he said that made the readers think if it was true or more of “it happened so fast and I don’t want to remember it so I’m going to make up things “or more of an exaggeration. ‘’ in many cases a true war story cannot be believed if you believe it be skeptical. It’s a question of credibility. Often the crazy stuff is true and the normal stuff isn’t because the normal is necessary to make you believe the truly
There are many valuable things in life, and one of the most significant is friendship. To live a life deprived of the experience of friendship is simply a life without living. Throughout our lives we are always meeting new people and forming relationships that may or, may not grow into anything more serious than a casual conversation. Throughout the novel, The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien, friendships develop into a very serious form of brotherhood. Friendship, as well as “brotherhood” are essential parts of the novel.
(172) Had O’Brien told the “happening-truth,” readers would have felt disconnected, and undermined the details that made the soldiers feel what they felt. However, there is a fine line between the two “truths”, that may go unrecognized. In this chapter O’Brien acknowledges that the “story-truth’ and the “happening truth” can morph into one another, and all of the sudden the story-truth becomes reality in his mind. “What seems to happen becomes its own happening and has to be told that way." (67-68)
Meaning of War Tim O 'brien wants readers to understand the meaning of war. His way of explaining war is by writing fictional short stories and giving speeches. Even though his stories are fictional they still contain the thoughts and feelings of war through the eyes of a soldier. The first topic is stress.
How does one discern truth? For Tim O’Brien, author of The Things They Carried, there is no singular definition of truth -- at least not one he could find while trekking through the war-torn Vietnamese countryside in the 1960s. O’Brien uses his personal experiences in Vietnam to craft a series of anecdotes considered fictional, written from the perspective of an American foot soldier ironically named “Tim.” In a seemingly random chapter of the novel, O’Brien directly addresses the readers by suggesting that the stories are entirely fabricated. He then implies that the idea of the stories being fabricated is also a fallacy.
Right in front of his eyes he saw him die. He is having a rough time forgiving himself. (125) Norman Bowker hangs himself at the YMCA in the later chapter “Notes.” He has so much guilt from the battlefield that he felt trapped. Vietnam robbed the life from him.
Although he mentions that you can’t tell a true war story, he still points out the story of the troops who heard unreal sounds in the mountain, and he also points out that Mitchell Sanders states this story. The irony happens because if the story is untellable, Tim O’Brien still told it. The truth conveyed by this irony is that the story is probably exaggerated as it’s passed to O’Brien, and it is not what it actually happened. Contrast and Juxtaposition “The truths are contradictory”(80).
No one returns from war the same person who went. War opens an unbridgeable gap between soldiers and civilians. There’s no truth in war—just each soldier’s experience. “You can tell a true war story by its absolute and uncompromising allegiance to obscenity and evil” (from “How to Tell a True War Story,” in O’Brien’s story collection “The Things They Carried”). Irony in modern American war literature takes many forms, and all risk the overfamiliarity that transforms style into cliché.
People, especially soldiers, deal with guilt in many different, sometimes harsh, ways. Though the ways the men in the book and people in real life deal with the feeling of responsibility may seem unhealthy, in some cases it is what is needed to heal. In The Things They Carried, Azar, Tim, and Norman Bowker all deal with guilt in different ways. Thinking too much, taking the blame, and making a joke out of a situation can all be unhealthy, but if the soldiers were using their coping methods in a more uplifting way, it could have solved several problems that arose later on.
When soldiers come back from the war all of them have guilt that will be with them for the rest of their lives. They carry it forever. Soldiers can not unsee the seen or undo what has been done, they have to live with it. Every soldier at some time, during and or after the war feel a burden of guilt that they cannot overcome. It tortures them, confines them, and destroys them.
In the chapter “In the Field” the themes shame/guilt was being used. Each individual soldier was feeling shame/guilt to Kiowa's death. The battalion of soldiers went back out to the field where
Through centuries of great wars and battles, history has displayed brave men and women who have fought for their countries. These audacious people have helped propel countries for the greater good. However, the weight and responsibility, of the war, takes a heavy toll on soldiers that is often overlooked. Tim O’Brien, author of the novel The Things They Carried, records his stories, and the stories of his fellow soldiers during the war. However, three of these soldiers are affected in an outlandish way.
He fought a war in Vietnam that he knew nothing about, all he knew was that, “Certain blood was being shed for uncertain reasons” (38). He realized that he put his life on the line for a war that is surrounded in controversy and questions. Through reading The Things They Carried, it was easy to feel connected to the characters; to feel their sorrow, confusion, and pain. O’Briens ability to make his readers feel as though they are actually there in the war zones with him is a unique ability that not every author possess.