“It’s never about war, it’s about sunlight.” This quote is one of the many reasons Tim O’Brien gives on how to tell a true war story. In The Things They Carried four of Tim O’Brien’s own rules demonstrate why his chapter “On a Rainy River” is true. The rules that a true war story has no moral, a true war story doesn’t generalize, a true war story is not just about war, and a true war story is embarrassing prove his chapter true. One of the four reasons, a true war story has no moral, is demonstrated to verify this chapter factual. O’Brien is torn between whether or not he should go off to war. He says, “Embarrassment, that’s all it was. And right then I submitted.” Although he decides to submit there is no lesson learned and it was purely
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysShow More
The novel acts as a response to the era it discusses by solidifying the un-generalized version of war through fictional anecdotes of the narrator and characters (Reed 1). The emotional truth is never portrayed correctly through historic context or media while the author was able to reciprocate the sentiments of the soldiers through the graphic battles or actions written in this novel. 3. Factors that influenced the author to publish this novel was partly due to his way of coping after war, using stories to keep the imagination alive. Towards the end of the book, O'Brien revealed that
In this book, Tim O'brien uncovers all his encounters in insight about the war; and also stories about his kindred warriors, and makes a genuine, yet over the top about them. He clarifies how he feels through stories that are hard to unmistakably distinguish as "genuine." This book has a great deal of subjects, demise and brutality is one of the real topics. A major topic and point in Tim O'Brien's novel is what number of circumstances hurt the warriors' lives.
The struggle of war is more than a physical struggle. It is the emotional and moral struggles that weigh soldiers down even after the war. In O’Brien’s chapter “On the Rainy River,” he experiences different thoughts on whether
This story is a success because it features components of what O’Brien says is a true war story. This certain short story includes, embarrassment, love, memory, and, shame. This story perfectly depicts the theme of one's conscience versus the society around them. It portrays this theme because it is the perfect example of the fight between what he believe is right and what society believes is wrong and is “unpatriotic” while what he believes is wrong and unworthy of such violence, yet society believes is right. According to O’Brien, in order for war stories to be true they must possess at least some of the elements from his specific definition.
True war stories are hard to tell, because of the guilt from things seen and those not seen. True stories do not allow the author to see things he never saw, so creating new images are necessary to create the story. True war stories are too subjective; even if it is true to someone it may not be true to the other. O’Brien says the only thing a true war story needs is to be asked if it is true, “and if it matters you got your answer” (O’Brien 79). It does not need to be factually true to make it a true war story.
War is the opposite of purity where corruption evolves soldiers into dehumanized reflections of themselves. The nature of war shows how dehumanizing it is, turning soldiers into savages as seen in the story, “How to Tell A True War Story”. War stories, as told by Tim O’Brien,
The word “truth” can be interpreted numerous ways regarding different situations and also the person that is telling the story. In the book, “ The Things They Carried”, Tim O’Brien wrote about his experience in the Vietnam War and how the war had impacted him and his fellow soldiers. Throughout the story, O’Brien begins to doubt himself and the accuracy of the story that he was telling. “ 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” (O’Brien 54). Knowing that everything might not be what it seemed, O’Brien began to realize that “fact” and “truth” are two different items.
“Vietnam was lost in the living rooms of America, not on the battlefields of Vietnam”- Marshall Mcluhan. In the novel The Things They Carried, written by Tim O’Brien uses his personal experiences to describe his time spent in Vietnam throughout the war. The reason the novel is written in a nonlinear format because he is writing the novel as he recalls his experiences. However, the main purpose of him writing the novel was to help people understand what the soldiers had went through and the truth about the Vietnam War is known to the public. Tim O’Brien uses themes such as storytelling/memory and morality to demonstrate the impact of the experiences the soldiers endured and how that has affected their daily lives.
Ambiguity Lingers On Edith Wharton, who is an American author, states “The novelist must rely on what maybe called the illuminating incident to reveal and emphasize the inner meaning of each situation” (Wharton). Tim O’Brien uses illuminating moments to show how war makes guilt ambiguous. By examining three specific moments, the reader discovers how difficult it is to deal with the ambiguities of guilt. Lieutenant Jimmy Cross suffers from the ambiguity of guilt about Ted Lavender’s death.
War was so much more than just war to O’Brien and he able to share this through his writing. " But this is true: stories can save us. ... in a story, which is a kind of dreaming, the dead sometimes smile and sit up and return to the world." (page
One of the important truths of a war story is that it doesn’t leave out the dirty gritty details that really tell the experience. A reader may see this quote and feel strange that O’Brien chooses to point out that war stories aren’t for feeling uplifted, they probably chose this book to get a good story about some soldiers in Vietnam. Rather, O’Brien wants the reader to see that any war story worth telling is going to leave in the terrible parts that cause disgust and retching. War is not something to be used to feel that there is a greater
In the short story, “The Man I Killed,” O’Brien focuses on this to show that everyone fighting in a war has a story. He spends the story describing the man he killed and searching for justification of his actions. He carries around guilt with him because of it, and his fellow soldiers try to help him justify and come to terms with his action by saying things like, “You want to trade places with him? Turn it all upside down= you want that? I mean, be honest,” (126) and “Tim, it’s a war.
In Tim O'Brien's “Enemies” and “Friends”, O'Brien shows the effect the nature of war has on individuals and how war destroys and creates friendships. These two stories describe the relationship between two soldiers, Lee Strunk and Dave Jensen. In “Enemies”, friendship is broken over a fist fight about a stolen jackknife, which leaves Strunk with a broken nose and Jensen paranoid of whether or not Strunk’s revenge is coming. While in “Friends”, you see how the nature of war creates a bond of trust, even between people who first saw each other as enemies.
The Vietnam War leaves a legacy of moral confusion with each and every soldier who serves. Soldiers are fighting for a cause they do not necessarily believe in, killing people who do not necessarily deserve it, and watching their brothers die beside them. Tim O’Briens’ book, The Things They Carried, illustrates the soldiers struggle to define morality throughout the confusion of the war. On the Rainy River, Tim O’Brien faces what he feels is his moral obligation to answer his country’s call and fight in Vietnam, and a personal moral issue with the reason for the war.