Flexibility of the Truth Essay

Flexibility of the Truth Essay

Length: 1822 words (5.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

"Story-truth is sometimes truer than happening-truth." (171) When most people read this quote in Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, they think story truth is emotional truth while happening truth refers to the facts and reality. But beneath the surface we see that the truth is never actually told. No matter how you tell a story the actual truth will never be revealed. The actual truth is for our own sense of self.
Throughout the story “The Lives of the Dead”, O’Brien recalls his history with Linda, his first love. “[Linda] wore a new red cap…very unusual.” (217) O’Brien has no idea what is going on with Linda at this point in time, but the cap is clearly hiding the truth. It is not until later, when Nick Veenhof sneakily lifted off the cap that Linda’s head is revealed with “[a] smooth, pale, translucent white.” (222) The whiteness of Linda’s head seems to be in reference to a blank slate; the purity of Linda, but more so the truth. If O’Brien wrote that her head was tan or didn’t even refer to the nature of the color of her head, then we wouldn’t have read closely into this passage.
But if you continue reading, we come across this: “[t]here was a large Band-Aid at the back of her head” (222) which can be interpreted as covering up the remaining truth. From this moment on, we can assume that Linda has some sort of fatal disease and it is confirmed later in the chapter. But what we don’t know is how she got it, when she got it, why she got it (genetic or just random), or more importantly, what she is thinking throughout this process. This Band-Aid covers up the remaining answers we have from this point on about Linda. And since she does not speak because Timmy and Linda have a “pure knowing” (218) of each other, ...


... middle of paper ...


...rite about Linda to rid his memory of the horridness that she went through the day her cap was removed and the visual truth came out.
The truth is glorified and considered moral, but if we know that someone will not understand the truth (which happens in most cases), then we tend to bend it. But how flexible is the truth? The expression of stretching the truth is very relevant in Tim O’Brien’s case. In The Things They Carried, he knows the truth about his characters and his stories, but he stretches the truth continuously throughout his novel and especially with Linda in his dreams. He is not trying to deceive us. He is actually trying to do the opposite and try to get us to understand the truth, not so much know the truth. Understanding the truth is not overrated, it is just not fit for words or even expressions. The truth is not for anyone, but yourself.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Comedy in "The Ugly Truth" Directed by Robert Luketic Essay

- The ugly Truth directed by Robert Luketic was a delightful and entertaining movie. Katherine Hiegl and Gerard Butler are both well known actors who work marvelously together in this movie. There is something in the movie for all men and women, whether they are on his side or rooting for her. The story of the central couple will grab the hearts of all those who watch it. What makes this movie shine specifically is the script of the storyline and the chemistry between the main actors; however, as a romantic, comedy it could have been better....   [tags: ugly Truth, director, Robert Luketic, ]

Strong Essays
852 words (2.4 pages)

Financial Accounting Theory: Reducing Balance Method vs. Straight Line Method

- Accounting is a multifaceted discipline. It is neither a dull profession nor a simple practice as how it has been viewed by lay people. This essay demonstrates the side of accounting that is complex and intriguing. It is structured in the following way: firstly, how my view of accounting is developed throughout this module will be explained. Next, the issue of what accounting profit is and whether it is a measure of true profit of an organisation will be tackled. The first part of my essay is challenged in various ways....   [tags: flexibility in accounting, machinery, buildings]

Strong Essays
898 words (2.6 pages)

Essay on The Mistaken Truth: Global Warming

- ... Unbelievably, every single dollar avoids 1/2 cents of climate change. The Kyoto protocol costs $180 billion a year and it might reduce the temperature 0.008 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century” (Lomborg: Thejoy Of Global Warming). There have been many legislations, protocols and summits; all of them have been allocated with the largest budget possible. Nevertheless, our solutions have been spending too much compared to unreasonable amount of good in the long run. Furthermore, still many countries do not have any type of commitment to the solutions....   [tags: climate change, socioeconomic analysis]

Strong Essays
1736 words (5 pages)

Essay on The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

- Education in its entirety should be that of expansion of knowledge and that of openness to individual bodies that are exposed and brought into the systems during school. Instead the systems are created to group them all together and conform to what the standards are. The education system has been formatted to where students have to learn from what is given and set for them. Although not all students perform equally in class sessions nor do they comprehend everything at the same pace as their peers....   [tags: Education, Teacher, Student]

Strong Essays
1040 words (3 pages)

Essay on The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink

- Psychology test do not have to be a stressful thing; test scores can go up with just a few changes by the professor. In Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, Daniel H. Pink explains that Motivation 3.0 Autonomy is giving a person the freedom to do things in their own way which produces better result because Motivation 3.0 “presumes that people want to be accountable-and making sure they have control over their task, their time, their technique, and their team in the most effective pathway to the destination” (105)....   [tags: autonomy, confidence, psychology]

Strong Essays
884 words (2.5 pages)

Essay about The Distinction between Mind and Body

- ... Even if my body were to be only a product of my senses alone, I know for a fact that my mind, or soul, must exist in this universe. This leads to Descartes’s belief that he must exist. Because he has the ability to think he exists, that proves he has something of existence in at least the non-physical world. “I have convinced myself that there is nothing in the world – no sky, no earth, no minds, and no bodies. Doesn’t it follow that I don’t exist. No, surely I exist if it’s me who is convinced of something,” (Norman 341)....   [tags: doubters, trustworthy, truth, inaccruate]

Strong Essays
616 words (1.8 pages)

Analytical Thinking Under Distrust Essays

- In our social environment we run into the danger that someone is lying to us, distorts a fact when reproducing it, or perhaps entirely omits an important detail. It is widely known that people from time to time say an untruth. The high prevalence of deception and lie telling is well documented in research (e.g. DePaulo & Kashy, 1998; DePaulo, Kashy, Kirkendol, Wyer, & Epstein, 1996). Our ability to notice or recognise deception and lies and in a next step to respond appropriately is not very far-reaching....   [tags: unconscious distrust, falsehood, truth]

Strong Essays
748 words (2.1 pages)

Essay on What do you Need to Improve your Flexibility?

- As she did a pirouette, she was center stage. All eyes on her and she did a pirouette and landed in fifth position. She prepared for this day making sure her muscles were strong and she was more flexible than she was just a month ago. How is she able to improve her flexibility in just a short amount of time. Well, flexibility has to do with our joints, our muscles, and even our diet. Joints are an important part to our flexibility. There are two different main kinds of joints, immovable and moveable....   [tags: joints, flexibility, health]

Strong Essays
1051 words (3 pages)

The Importance Of Truth : The Truth And The Truth Essay

- The question of whether ignorance is bliss or the truth will set you free is a difficult one to answer. Although countless films have debated it, frequently they conclude with the viewer being able to clearly see both sides of the argument. That being said, the truth seems to always be the best option. In what we have seen so far the main character goes through learning some truth, often after a hard journey of acceptance, but sometimes also faced with a journey to be accepted. The truth was often hard to truly accept, but benefited the main characters in some way....   [tags: Knowledge, The Matrix, Oedipus, Truth]

Strong Essays
1063 words (3 pages)

Essay on The Truth

- The “Truth”      Every thought that ever entered our mind is a consequence of our struggle to reach out for the truth. Since our early age we have been thought to believe that there has to be right and wrong and we continuously searched for the “correct” answer. Unlike school’s multiple choice tests, life thought us that there is more than one correct answer. At one point we learned that some questions don’t have answers at all, or they are way too complex for our mind to understand them. Yet we never stopped struggling to reach out for the ultimate truth....   [tags: Definition True Truth Philosophy Essays]

Strong Essays
1282 words (3.7 pages)