Morality In War In Tim O Brien's The Things They Carried

1254 Words6 Pages
Are lies more easy to believe than truths? Some people prefer to fabricate a story rather than unfold its facts. As a result, fiction exists. Fiction is nonetheless a statement that is false, but people would like to believe it since it is easier to relate to imagined situations. In the novel The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, the author has manifested multiple views on how fiction is so persuasive that it makes every experience about the Vietnam war seem real. As a result, when he indicates that the stories were fabricated, it throws readers to question if in war, individuals have to give up their morality. Despite the fact that fiction raises this question, it is stronger than non-fiction when conveying the theme about morality in wars.…show more content…
After knowing that Tim O’Brien had killed a young man, he then made up multiple stories as well as scenarios about the one event. Later on, O’Brien writes chapter “Good Form” and indicates that “almost everything else is invented” (179). Basically, he means that all of the stories about morality and how he felt about killings and deaths were all fabricated. By using this writing method, Tim O’Brien implies how powerful fiction is comparing to non-fiction since fiction lets one to add more details; while in non-fiction, readers would know what happen but as for what would make the story more lively, they do not know the specific aspects. Furthermore, the author explains more on the reason he chose to lie about the story of how he killed the young man, “... even that story is made up. I want you to feel what I felt, I want you to know why story-truth is truer sometimes than happening-truth” (179). In this quote, O’Brien is delivering a message that he falsifies the story in order to make the audiences have a better insight of what he saw, to put them in the situation that he was in, to understand how he felt at that moment … Nevertheless, the most important intention is to signify that sometimes, the stories that one knows of, which might have never occurred at all, is more convincing than…show more content…
Throughout the book, the author reveals that not many of the details appearing in the story are true. In addition, Tim O’Brien also tends to exaggerate his stories repeatedly so that it feels like every time he tells them, they have different meanings but actually, they are all focusing on the same idea. For instance, due to the description of the dead body, we all know that O’Brien had killed a young man while in combat. However, he keeps on repeating this story in more than three chapters and every time, the descriptions are both different and similar in some details. At one part, the author goes straight to the description of the body. For the other, the author adds vivid pictures into the story to make it more lively. Either way, the story ends up with a conclusion of how terrible the dead body was like. Afterward, the author confesses that “... twenty years ago I watched a man die on a trail near the village of My Khe. I did not kill him. But I was present, you see, and my presence was guilt enough” (179). Basically, O’Brien is saying that he was writing a story that had never happened at all. Yet, with the aid of hyperbole, he was able to make the story sounds so realistic like it had happened. But the truth was that “… there were many bodies, real bodies with real faces, but I was young then and I was afraid to look” (180). To put it differently,
Open Document