Storytelling In Bernie Goetz's Writing Techniques

Powerful Essays
Storytelling Morals make a story purposeful and meaningful but sometimes these stories are not always true. This makes it hard for someone to know which stories to believe and not believe. Events, their retellings, and their true meanings are the main focuses of Malcolm Gladwell, Beth Loffreda, and Tim O'Brien's essays. In Gladwell’s paper, “The Power of Context: Bernie Goetz and the Rise and Fall of New York City Crime”, he writes about the changing of the fine details which changes the crime that Bernie Goetz commits. He also writes about the importance of character and how it can be changed. Beth Loffreda writes about the reaction from media and Laramie after the murder of Matt Shepard in her chapter, Selections from “Losing Matt Shepard:…show more content…
Tim O’Brien uses this character, Mitchell Sanders, who conveys an outlandish story about six soldiers on a mountain top, listening for the enemies, to explain this idea. After a few days of being up there, they go insane and hear impossibly crazy noises to be hearing in a forest in Vietnam like an opera and a glee club. Sanders corrects himself, “‘I got a confession to make,’ Sanders said. ‘Last night, man, I had to make up a few things.’... ‘Yeah, but listen, it’s still true. Those six guys, they heard wicked sound out there. They heard sound you just plain won’t believe’” (O’Brien 320-21). Sanders is desperate for the audience, to have someone hear him that it did not matter that the story was not true. The need for listener is all that matter not the true story. Loffreda also talks about this need to have a story when Matt was found in the woods. The people who found Matt described as looking like a scarecrow but this is not the case. Loffreda writes, “Matt hadn’t actually been tied like a scarecrow...No matter its provenance, the notion that Matt had been strung up in something akin to a crucifixion became the starting point for the reporting and reaction to come” (Loffreda 238-39). Matt in a scarecrow position is the glee club and opera in Sanders’ story. Both are unbelievable but…show more content…
War stories with meaning have to sugarcoat war to make it more appealing to the readers. Tim O’Brien writes about how this sugarcoating of is not a true war story. He explains, “A true war story is never moral. It does not instruct, nor encourage virtue, nor suggest models of proper human behavior, nor restrain men from doing the things men have always done” (O’Brien 316). The war stories with morals and deeper meaning gives war character which it does not have. It glamorizes war into something that could be good and happy situations but this is also not the case. The concept of character makes the idea of a true war story, supposed to a fake one, more understandable. Malcolm Gladwell defines character and how it can change. He writes, “Character is more like a bundle of habits and tendencies and interests, loosely bound together and dependent, at certain times, on circumstance and context. The reason that most of us seem to have a consistent character is that most of us are really good at controlling our environment.” (Gladwell 160). Character depends on circumstances and context. Stories have character because they require circumstances to be told and context to make the story understandable. When these things change the story adapts to those change, which results in alterations of the original
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