Fiction or Nonfiction, War Has the Same Effect

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A true war story is not always true. Some would say a true war story is an experience from war. Others, who came from war, would say they make up stories to make war seem crazier than it really is. Tim O’Brian states that the story is fiction, but the moral is true. Tracy Kidder had written war stories based on his time in Vietnam, and his book is rated as nonfiction, even though he admits that some war stories are made up. Contained within The Things They Carried, is a story by a man named Mitchell Sanders. “Sanders tells a story about a group of soldiers that camped on a listening mission, and all they did was listen. They heard many different noises, and paranoia hit them. They ordered airstrikes on the motionless, noisy ground, and when the commander asked why they did that, the soldiers had no answer” (O’Brien 74). The moral of the story is that the quietness of war can drive someone crazy. In war, according to Sanders, when there is no noise, the soldier never knows what to expect to break that silence. The moral is believable, even though the book is fiction, and Sanders states that the story was false. Also, even though the story is fiction, Sanders is good at lying because the story is quite believable. Inside of My Detachment, chapter one, is a story about a man named Bill. “Bill was riding in an APC when they had gotten hit, and his friend fell, wounded. Bill tried to stop the captain from driving, but the captain pursued his own path. Later, the captain moved Bill to a different section, so that Bill wouldn’t talk dirty about him. Bill wanted to kill him” (Kidder 7). Bill later states that this was true, but he came home wounded because of his bad influence of being drunk. This story seems true, because of the ho... ... middle of paper ... ...n’t stop him from adding fluff to his story to make it more exciting so that people would listen to him (Kidder 7). Although most of those bad things happened, Bill could even be a fictional character, used to describe the life of Kidder himself. A true war story isn’t always true, no matter what the author states about it. The moral of it is probably the only true part, with the other pieces being made up to grasp the reader’s attention. O’Brien stepped foot into Sanders’ shoes to find the moral under all the lies, and he did. Kidder met an man named Bill and found out his time in Vietnam, even though he made some parts up to make himself sound cooler. Works Cited Kidder, Tracy. “War Stories.” My Detachment. New York: Random House, 2005. Print. O’Brien, Tim. “How to Tell a True War Story.” The Things They Carried. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1990. Print.
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