How To Tell A True War Story

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Tim Obrien’s novel, “The Thing’s They Carried,” centralized on the belief that storytelling can save our lives. When stories are told we look for meaning within the stories. Stories affect people in many different ways, and sometimes trying to tell a whole story does not always tell the real truth. He uses storytelling to deal with the loss and grief he encountered during the Vietnam War. Although he is sharing his stories post-war, he challenges his readers in deciding which stories are actually considered true war stories. Sharing and telling stories were outlets for the soldiers.
O’Brien would describe a true war story as a story without any moral to it. A true war story is one in which the reader will be able to make the stomach believe (pg.74). Stories that soldiers would tell were ways to keep the soldiers levelheaded and to find a moral obligation to war. O’Brien’s stories are ways to reflect on the memories of the men who have fought and experienced death together. In his story, “How to Tell a True War Story,” he speaks of the death of Rat Kiley’s best friend, Curt Lemon. He says that sometimes in war stories it becomes difficult to distinguish between what
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He shares the soldier’s history as a way to portray the story as more realistic. “Take it slow. Just go wherever the spirit takes you,” Kiowa says to Tim (pg.120). In this exact moment, no one understands what he is feeling. He does not use any words to describe his emotions. Although this story may or may not be true, we have the ability to feel the sensation of O’Brien being in shock. To this say the death of this man still haunts him. Creating a fictional life of the soldier was a way of hiding the remorse he felt after the man is dead. Telling this story had the strength to provoke O’Brien’s shame and guilt, he still feels after the
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