How to Tell a True War Story by Tim O’ Brien

500 Words2 Pages
According to the Indian Times, madness is the rule in warfare (Hebert). The madness causes a person to struggle with experiences while in the war. In “How to Tell a True War Story”, the madness of the war caused the soldiers to react to certain situations within the environment differently. Tim O’Brien’s goal with the story “How to Tell a True War Story” is to shed light on the madness the soldiers face while in the war. Tim O’Brien tells the true story of Rat experiences of the war changing his life. Bob Kiley, a soldier that everyone called Rat experienced a type of warfare that caused him a personal type of madness. O’Brien believes that Rat’s true experiences began when he lost his friend Lemon. Lemon and Rat was playing catch when Lemon stepped on a booby-trap. Today, people have counselors and support systems to assist them with deal with the death of a partner in war. However, the time of war Ray experience did not offer these benefits. To deal with his pain he attempted to take his frustration out on a water buffalo. He thought that by shooting the animal through various parts of its body would ease the pain that he felt. Once he wrote to his sister to tell her that “what a great brother she had (617). Lemon’s sister did not respond to the letter the he sent this hurt him even more. The truth in the story is that Rat experiences a true disconnect between the war and a person that has never experience the war. Norman Bowker’s singing shows his experience of madness of the war. He sings, “I’m wasting my time. I got nothing to do. I’m hanging around. I’m waiting on you” (Lemon Tree). These are the lines that he sings while picking parts of Lemon’s body from the tree. Tim O’Brien shows the truth of how fellow soldiers face the death. Although the though of cleaning up a friend body parts the truth is Bowker faces this with a song. The truth is that instance death is a part of every day life in war. Tim O’Brien is doing the best he can to stay true to the story for his fellow soldiers. Tim O’Brien believed that by writing the story of soldiers in war as he saw it brings some type of justice to soldiers in a war situation.
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