Truth In The Things They Carried By Tim O Brien

595 Words3 Pages

In Tim O'Brien's “The Things They Carried,” a fictional novel about an American platoon during the Vietnam War, O’Brien insists that the book and stories being told are real, only to contradict himself after a few pages. I believe O’Brien does not do this because he is an eccentric writer, but because he is trying to make us believe that these fictional characters’ deaths and hardships are real, in order to convey a message about how there is beauty in death. While reading through the stories it is often difficult to separate what is fictitious, and what is true. Throughout the novel we seem to find two different “truths”, which are “story truth” and “happening truth”. O’Brien uses war related imagery to demonstrate the power of storytelling by describing the brutal realities of death and how soldiers meet it and deal with it. One of the first deaths is Ted Lavender’s who shot in the head after relieving himself, “zapped while zipping,” as the other soldiers put it. There’s as Kiowa’s death who is sucked down into a “mud field”. Another death that we see is Curt Lemon’s, blown …show more content…

O’Brien not only is the writer but also puts himself in the story by being an actual character. O’Brien says that his novel is a combination of short stories, essays, and journalisms. Several times throughout the story, O’Brien mentions how he feels like he is completely reliving the past and sometimes its sad, sometimes its happy. One of the most important stories throughout the book is "How To Tell A True War Story," and the title does not refer to how to simply tell a true war story but how to tell if a war story is true or not. An important theme in the novel that centers on the difference between how war is perceived by people who have not experienced it first hand as opposed to what war really is

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