12 Contemporary literature
28 March, 2014
Fiction vs. Nonfiction
Blood here and blood there! Shots are being fired from every direction and screams begin to emerge from deep within the forest. They become louder and louder and seem to come closer with every step taken. Then there is an eerie silence and as everything seems to calm down, a grenade goes off in the distance. Does this seem real? Could this be real? The way war is portrayed in movies is not always the honest truth. Most of the times the way war is depicted very action packed and heroic. Although this is true in some cases, there are sides of war that some do not see. There are days in war where nothing extremely dangerous happens. There are also sides of soldiers, emotionally, that one does not see. In the book The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien, war and the soldiers are portrayed in way that is rarely seen. The same can be said for a poem by Wilfred Owen titled Dulce et Decorum Est. O'Brien and Owen both portray the reality of war, however O'Brien goes deeper into the truth behind the reality or war.
The reality of war is commonly misunderstood by most people. O'Brien and Owen try to shed some light on what they believe to be the reality of war. Both authors are very blunt when it comes to talking about war, as well as sarcastic in tone and nature. The imagery of the war scenes are gruesome, violent, graphic and very detailed. In Dulce et Decorum Est, Owen describes a scene where one of his fellow soldiers have been killed, "...watch the white eyes writhing in his face, His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin. If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs" (Owen). The diction that Owen ha...
... middle of paper ...
...ry a soldier tells is the truth. It also contradicts what is portrayed in movies. O'Brien makes the reader question the truth behind war in a way that Owen is not able to. In fact his entire book is dedicated to unraveling a true war stories.
The similarities and differences between O'Brien's book and Owen's poem help convey a single message. War is not what everyone believes it to be. War is gruesome, violent, and emotionally tiring. The stories soldiers tell are so elaborate and outrageous because they don't want to tell people what really happens. Also because the way war is portrayed in movies people expect amazing war stories. O'Brien and Owen both portray the reality of war, however O'Brien goes deeper into the truth behind the reality or war. Although they both are written in two different time periods, they both portray a sense of war that most do not see.