He, as the “expert” of war leads the reader through the story. Since O’Brien has experienced the actual war from a soldier’s point of view, he should be able to present the truth about war... ... middle of paper ... ...r because it seems impossible to reconstruct an event from this objective point of view. Maybe the point of telling stories is not trying to recreate the reality of a past event, but it is the message that matters because that might be in the end the only thing that does not necessarily depend on single details of the story, but on the overall picture of an event. That is why to O’Brien another important component of a war story is the fact that a war story will never pin down the definite truth and that is why a true war story “never seems to end” (O’Brien, 425). O’Brien moves the reader from the short and simple statement “This is the truth” to the conclusion that, “In war you lose your sense of the definite, hence your sense of truth itself and therefore it’s safe to say that in a true war story nohting much is ever very true” (O’Brien, 428).
He does not want the reader to know the difference between the two because in his opinion that fact is irrelevant. O’Brien obviously thinks outside the box and has everyone questioning reality. However, this fact is truly ironic, because the point is not to care what type of “truth” it is, but to instead feel the raw beauty of the emotion and to accept it as the truth. While trying to define “story-truth” and “happening-truth,” a couple chapters in particular focus on the idea of truth, “How to Tell a True War Story,” “The Man I Killed” and “Good Form.” O’Brien believes that the most important thing for a reader is to experience the emotion of the story, be it “story-truth” or “happening-truth,” as long as the real emotion is conveyed and understood by the reader, then it is as true as it could possibly be. In the chapter “How to Tell a True War Story”O’Brien elaborates on how the differences between the “story-truth” and “happening-truth,” A true war story is never moral.
The truth behind stories is not always what happened, with each person 's perspective is where their truth lies. In the beginning of the novel, you start to think that it is going to be the same old war stories you read in the past, but it changes direction early. It is not about how the hero saves the day, but how each experience is different and how it stays with you. From his story about Martha, to how he killed a man, each one is so different, but has its own meaning that makes people who have not been in war, understand what it is like. Tim O’Brien can tell a fake story and make you believe it with no doubt in your mind.
In Tim O’Brien’s novel, “The Things They Carried,” imaginations can be both beneficial and corrosive. This novel consist of story truth and real truth. Throughout the novel, imagination plays a big role. Tim O’Brien wrote his book about the war mainly based on his memory of the war. He did not remember every details of the war, thus he made up some false details to the stories to make it seems more interesting.
Tim explores the connection between war events and the art of narrating those events. However Tim does not make a conclusion on exactly what is a true story of war (King, 183). He sees that a person cannot as well generalize a story. Tim feels that war can be seen as anything from beauty and love to the most callous event ever experienced. Meaning is not necessary in the story.
Dissection of Tim O’Brien’s Prime Narrative Against Herzog’s Fifth Hypothesis In one of the most influential pieces of postmodern literature, Tim O’Brien in The Things They Carried introduces us to a war fact/fiction writing where two of these themes intermingle into each other to such degree that nothing remains clear in the end but the emotional communication that attempts to convey the horrors of the Vietnam War. This writing style has distinguished Tim O’Brien from many other authors that wrote in the same genre and conveyed their respective style. In The Things They carried, the treatment of the Vietnam War is very precise, in the meaning of the nature of the war itself. It is a collection of short stories that contain near-fictional characters accounting their experiences in the Vietnam War. This near-fiction becomes troubling for the readers of Tim O’Brien.
. . [in] contemporary war fiction” (Smith 12). Like Hemingway,1 O’Brien takes on a journalistic approach to his novels. Narrating with his typical method of fragmented stream-of-consciousness, Tim O’Brien recalls his past experiences as a soldier and creates a meta-fiction that illustrates the Vietnam War as a senseless paradox.
As previous passages focus on this idea of emotion, inherent limits of storytelling, and questioning all war stories for its truth, O’Brien ultimately says, “Absolute occurrence is irrelevant” which means truth is not subjected to a nonfictional representation of an event. This concept breaks the boundary between fiction and nonfiction accounts of war as all stories are representations of an experience. However, this experience, according to O’Brien, also does not have to have occurred because it is what the story conveys that represents truth. It is through this convention that allows The Things They Carried to further expand the war story genre by defining truth within a story to include works of
O’Brien shows that it matters not that a story is fiction, so long as it represents the truth as it seemed. The novel The Thing They Carried is a compilation of short fiction that explores the theme of the distinction between factual truth and story truth. The quotation in the short story “How To Tell a True War Story” distinguishes between what is true in a war story and what is not. This quotation, through the use of figurative language, imagery and other stylistic devices makes the reader reconsider the meaning of truth in a war story. The quote sums up a central idea of the short story collection and gives meaning to the events in the book.
In “How to Tell a True War Story” by Tim O’Brien, Orwell’s ideas are questioned and the competition between the truth and the underlying meaning of a story is discussed. O’Brien’s story depicts that the truth isn’t always a simple concept; and that not every piece of literature or story told can follow Orwell’s list of rules (Orwell 285). The story is told through an unnamed narrator as he re-encounters memories from his past as a soldier in the Vietnam War. With his recollection of past encounters, the narrator also offers us segments of didactic explanation about what a “true war story” is and the power it has on the human body (O’Brien 65). O’Brien uses fictional literature and the narration of past experiences to raise a question; to what extent should the lack of precision, under all circumstances, be allowed?