The things I carry to school are to ease my job everyday. I carry my backpack so it could hold all my other materials which I need to carry. I carry extra pencils in case of loss of my actual pencil. One day in January, my mechanical pencil ran out of lead during a math test, and I had to waste five minutes to get another pencil. Other needs I carry include a graphing calculator and iPad. I need both to ease my job, but if I forget to carry, I will get punished by some teachers. The thing I carry and use every single day is paper. I write my notes and homework on paper. I bought hundreds of pieces of papers, so I would carry extra everyday for others who forget to carry because other students also need paper to function in
In the chapter, How to Tell a True War Story, he emphasizes this a lot. “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 stuff is necessary to make you believe the truly incredible craziness.” (page 68). This is why Tim O’Brien writes the way he does. He wants the reader to believe his story and get a sense of what war is truly
Tim O’Brien never lies. While we realise at the end of the book that Kiowa, Mitchell Sanders and Rat Kiley are all fictional characters, O’Brien is actually trying to tell us that there is a lot more truth hidden in these imagined characters than we think. This suggests that the experiences he went through were so traumatic, the only way to describe it was through the projection of fictional characters. O’Brien explores the relationship between war experiences and storytelling by blurring the lines between truth and fiction. While storytelling can change and shape a reader’s opinions and perspective, it might also be the closest in helping O’Brien cope with the complexity of war experiences, where the concepts like moral and immorality are being distorted. “How to Tell a True War Story” and “Ambush” are stories that both explore on topics: truth, the real definition of a true war story, and the role of truth.
“That’s what stories are for. Stories are for joining the past to the future ... Stories are for eternity, when memory is erased, when there is nothing to remember except the story” (36). The Things They Carried is a captivating novel that gives an inside look at the life of a soldier in the Vietnam War through the personal stories of the author, Tim O’Brien . Having been in the middle of war, O’Brien has personal experiences to back up his opinion about the war. In The Things They Carried, O’Brien reveals his view on war through telling his readers how the Vietnam War had no point, was emotionally devastating, and displaying that there is no purpose in war unless the soldiers know what they are fighting for.
When it comes down to it the way you lie and the purpose behind your lies, are dependent on your moral and ethical values as an individual. Whether you are five years old or fifty years old, you have told a lie at some point in your life. Despite the inability of us humans to avoid lying, we all lie for different reasons. According to “ The Truth About Lying”, Judith Viorst believes in various types of lies such as protective lies, social lies, truth-keeping lies, and peacekeeping lies. In the very first sentence Viorst explained how difficult it was for her to write about this. “I’ve been waiting to write on a subject that intrigues and challenges me; the subject of lying. I’ve found it very difficult to do.” (Viorst,
This is described in the story when the narrator states, “And then afterward, when you go to tell about it, there is always that surreal seemingness, which makes the story seem untrue, but which in fact represents the hard and exact truth as it seemed” (3). It’s the idea of trying to find a truth, or some meaning behind this meaningless slaughter and killing that happened during the war. But with each telling it seems that the narrator might be stepping further from the truth and that this story should be questioned on its validity. As Rosemary King explains in her article, “On one hand, O 'Brien is asking how a listener can distinguish whether a story is a factual retelling of events; on the other he outlines "how to tell" a war story” (182). King is describing how O’Brien is saying it’s impossible to tell what is and isn’t factual in a war story, and how he is at the same time explaining how to tell a “true war story.” The narrator describes how point of these stories often doesn’t hit you till much later by stating, “Often in a true war story there is not even a point, or else the point doesn’t hit you until twenty years later, in your sleep, and you wake up and shake your wife and start telling the story to her, except when you get to the end you’ve forgotten the point again. And then for a long time you lie
There are numerous examples of metafiction in The Things They Carried; many are clear, and some are harder to notice at first glance. In the text, author Tim O’Brien uses a metafictional writing style to vividly illustrate what emotions and thoughts went through the minds of the soldiers fighting in Vietnam, including himself. It is unclear whether or not some of the stories he tells in the text actually happened, but there is no doubt that they are paramount to the underlying objective of O’Brien’s writing style: to use realistic scenarios that may not have actually happened, to make whatever changes necessary to the story to get his point across. Tim O’Brien uses metafiction to obscure the line between truth and fiction by manipulating details that trigger certain emotions to influence the reader.
Readers, especially those reading historical fiction, always crave to find believable stories and realistic characters. Tim O’Brien gives them this in “The Things They Carried.” Like war, people and their stories are often complex. This novel is a collection stories that include these complex characters and their in depth stories, both of which are essential when telling stories of the Vietnam War. Using techniques common to postmodern writers, literary techniques, and a collection of emotional truths, O’Brien helps readers understand a wide perspective from the war, which ultimately makes the fictional stories he tells more believable.
For example when Curt Lemon died, he has a gentle version. “I can see him turning, looking back at Rat Kiley, then he laughed and took that curious half step from shade into sunlight, his face suddenly brown and shining, and when his foot touched down, in that instant, he must’ve thought it was the sunlight that was killing him. It was not the sunlight. It was a rigged 105 round. But if I could ever get the story right, how the sun seemed to gather around him and pick him up and lift him high into a tree,”(How To Tell A True War Story, 52). O’Brien tells a graceful version of a gruesome story. Many people prefer thinking of Lemon being killed by sunlight. That version is much more graceful than the truth, “In the mountains that day, I watched Lemon turn sideways. He laughed and said something to Rat Kiley. Then he took a peculiar half step, moving from shade into bright sunlight, and the booby-trap 105 round blew him into a tree. The parts were just hanging there, so Dave Jensen and I were ordered to shinny up and peel him off. I remember the white bone of an arm. I remember pieces of skin and something wet and yellow that must’ve been the intestines. The gore was horrible, and stays with me. But what wakes me up twenty years later is Dave Jensen singing ‘Lemon Tree’ and we threw down the parts.”(How To Tell A True War Story, 51). The true version is always what hits the hardest.
In The Things They Carried, O’Brien’s story-telling method is an attempt to show that the lines between fiction and reality are often not that far. Even though the names or details may not be fully accurate, this does not change the fact that they are a reality for many. Additionally, he challenges the importance that we place on war and links it to a storytelling aspect because he’s pointing out that not every story has a moral to it. With tragic events, we typically want some sort of meaning behind them, some sort of assurance that the incident was not for nothing. However, this is not always true, as a character “Yeah, well…I don’t see no moral”…“There it is man”. (O’Brien 13). The former is a response to acknowledging a soldier’s death, and the latter is another character’s refusal to believe it was for no reason. One may feel lost without meaning and modify their story to have one. It’s typical to want a great story to tell, something that captures attention. It’s also normal to cope with our problems by telling slightly modified version of stories, like Tim O’Brien
The main topic proposal for my research project will focus on Mary Karr’s The Liars’ Club events and how they are based on a true story as far as she can recall. Mary Karr’s The Liars’ Club deals with rape, alcoholism and a mother that is nervous in East Texas with list of seven husbands. The human mind’s memory is delicate and can change (Simply). A first-hand account such as a memoir gives me a chance to analyze the truth behind the stories. Eyewitness accounts are highly inaccurate and several witnesses in the same place and time can have many different accounts of the same scene (Eyewitnes). Regarding memoir this becomes the concern for some critics. So, what matters and doesn’t matter about truth may all be in the perspective of the author,
The things they carried is a novel by Tim O’Brien. About the Vietnam war. About the lives of people going there. It’s a collection of war stories. Some of them true, some of the untrue and that’s the main topic that’ll be discussed in this paper. What is a true war story? How can it be told? this is a quite complicated question with a quite complex response(s). a true war story is something beyond generalizing, that could be true and untrue at a time. There is not only one type of truth, but happening and seeming truths, and not the man could know the real truth in a war story.
Truth is often a term that is taken into consideration when one is verbally speaking, but most find it rather difficult to truly define truth. While every person can attempt to uniquely give their own interpretation to what the world regards as truth, the realm of philosophy presents several brilliants ideas about the concept. In general, the study of philosophy recognizes two truths: objective and subjective. Objective truth can be described as truth that has always existed whether one knows it or not, while subjective truth is dependent on the person’s ideas and feelings towards a reality. Influential and well-known philosophers such as Mortimer J. Adler and Plato have contributed thoughts that often present similar ideas about the definition
America’s war heroes all have the same stories to tell but different tales. Prescribed with the same coloring page to fill in, and use their methods and colors to bring the image to life. This is the writing style and tactic used by Tim O’Brien in his novel, “The Things They Carried”. Steven Kaplan’s short story criticism, The Undying Certainty of the Narrator in Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, provides the audience with an understanding of O’Brien’s techniques used to share “true war” stories of the Vietnam War. Kaplan explains the multitude of stories shared in each of the individual characters, narration and concepts derived from their personal experiences while serving active combat duty during the Vietnam War,
Though often times revealing the truth may cause more damage than good, it is only rarely true. Rather than achieving what is intended, all lies regardless of the size, create conflicts which in return result in irresolvable consequences like permanent distrust and an inability to sustain relationships. How would man live if he were only told lies and little truth?