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

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

Length: 500 words (1.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
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.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"How to Tell a True War Story by Tim O’ Brien." 123HelpMe.com. 25 Jun 2019
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=199133>.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Irony in Tim O’Brien’s How to Tell a True War Story Essay

- Irony in Tim O’Brien’s “How to Tell a True War Story” “This is true.” (O’Brien, 420) – with this simple statement which also represents a first, three-word introductory paragraph to Tim O’Brien’s short story, “How to Tell a True War Story”, the author reveals the main problem of what will follow. “Truth” – when looked up in a dictionary, we would probably find definitions similar to sincerity and honesty on the one hand, and correctness, accuracy or reality on the other hand. When looking at these definitions, one can make out two groups of meaning: While sincerity and honesty are very subjective, correctness or accuracy are supposed to be objective by nature....   [tags: How to Tell a True War Story Tim O'Brien Essays]

Research Papers
2118 words (6.1 pages)

Essay on Stories of Insanity in How to Tell a True War Story by Tim O´brien

- Stories of Insanity The hardships of war can change a person to the point of insanity. However, one man lived through the dramatic hardships of war and told the tales of his experiences. William Timothy O'Brien, an American author, was born on October 1, 1946. He went to Macalaster College in 1968 for a degree in political science, and then he attended Harvard University from 1970-76. He served in the Vietnam War and was discharged for being wounded. He received the Purple Heart and became a reporter for the Washington Post from 1971-74 ("Tim O'Brien").Tim O'Brien's writing career began when he wrote a collection of newspapers, and magazine articles called If I Die in a Combat Zone....   [tags: hardships of war, change]

Research Papers
974 words (2.8 pages)

Essay about Tim O’ Brien’s How to Tell a True War Story

- Many times readers lose interest in stories that they feel are not authentic. In addition, readers feel that fictitious novels and stories are for children and lack depth. Tim O’ Brien maintains that keeping readers of fiction entertained is a most daunting task, “The problem with unsuccessful stories is usually simple: they are boring, a consequence of the failure of imagination- to vividly imagine and to vividly render extraordinary human events, or sequences of events, is the hard-lifting, heavy-duty, day-by-day, unending labor of a fiction writer” (Tim O’ Brien 623)....   [tags: Literary Analysis]

Research Papers
602 words (1.7 pages)

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

- 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....   [tags: Literary Analysis]

Free Essays
500 words (1.4 pages)

The Ambiguity of Truth in How to Tell a True War Story by Tim O’Brien Essay

- 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)....   [tags: meaning, experience, perception]

Research Papers
801 words (2.3 pages)

Ambiguity in How to Tell a True War Story, by Tim O’Brien Essay

- Summary In “Politics and the English Language”, George Orwell argues that the English language has evolved from a language of meaning to a language of vagueness. He critiques modern English for its staleness of imagery and lack of precision, stating that it has relied on “ready-made phrases” (Orwell 280). Orwell believes that the use of complex words has deprived the general public and writers themselves from the meaning a certain piece is trying to illustrate. He draws upon five scholarly sources, all of them being related to politics, to strengthen his idea that the secured feeling of mediocre writing has prevailed over the risk involved with passionate writing....   [tags: literary analysis, Tim Obrien]

Research Papers
980 words (2.8 pages)

How To Tell A True War Story by Tim O´brien Essay

- Short Story Explicative Critique “How To Tell A True War Story” In Tim O’Brian’s short excerpt, How to Tell A True War Story, the narrator recounts his hardening experiances in the Vietnam War (1956-1975). O’Brian details the story of Rat during the war, and his experiances losing his best friend. Through the use of literary divices such as imagry, paradoxical ideas, as well as themes that juxtapose each other, O’Brian is able to deliver an effective message in reguards to the complex relationship between physical war and war stories....   [tags: lemon, rat, friend]

Research Papers
1013 words (2.9 pages)

A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner vs How to Tell a True War Story by Tim O’Brien

- The Misleading Truth "A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner and "How to Tell a True War Story" by Tim O’Brien are two admirable short stories that share some differences and similarities. "A Rose for Emily" is fiction while "How to Tell a True War Story" is about O’Brien’s life in Vietnam. Each author uses their own unique strategies to engage the readers’ interests. Both stories have many events that create different effects and cause different responses for the reader form a historical and formalist point of view....   [tags: A Rose For Emily, William Faulkner]

Free Essays
1553 words (4.4 pages)

The Elusiveness of War and the Tenuousness of Morality in Tim O?Brien?s ?The Things They Carried,? ?How to Tell a True War Story,? and ?Style?

- The Elusiveness of War and the Tenuousness of Morality in Tim O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried,” “How to Tell a True War Story,” and “Style” In the novel The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien demonstrates how exposure to the atrocities of nations at war leads to the soldiers having skewed perspectives on what is right and wrong, predominantly at times when the purpose of the war itself appears elusive. The ambiguity that consumes the stories of “The Things They Carried” and “How to Tell a True War Story” is displayed with irony, for the ‘moral’ of such war stories is that there is no moral at all....   [tags: essays research papers]

Research Papers
636 words (1.8 pages)

Essay about How to Tell a True War Story by Tim O'brien

- The “Baby Boom” era occurred between the years of the late 1950s thru the 19970s and shaped America and its culture into the type of country it is today. It helps to understand these times to prevent history from repeating itself while better understanding how people were feeling during that time. Also, to better understand what was happening during that time by reading the literature that was written during that time period. Through Tim O’Brien’s “How to Tell a True War Story” to Ursula K. Le Guin’s “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”, they reflect the cultural, economic, political, and intellectual upheavals the United States was experiencing....   [tags: vietnam war, baby boom, Ursula K. Le Guin]

Research Papers
1140 words (3.3 pages)

O’Brien shows the brave of Rat and the sensitive of a man torn by the death of a close friend. Rat’s describes his friend as someone that was a stand up guy. The fact that Lemon’s sister did not respond to his letter hurt him tremendously.
The Indian Times defines madness as the rule in warfare (Hebert). The madness can cause a person to struggle with the experiences of war. In “How to Tell a True War Story”, the madness of the war causes the soldiers to react to certain situations within the environment differently. Tim O’Brien’s goal main 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 and how each one deals with their issues the best way possible.






Works Cited

Herbert, Bob. "'War Is Personal'; 'Wars are planned in corridors of power, fought by ordinary people'. " News India - Times 4 Apr. 2003,Ethnic NewsWatch (ENW), ProQuest. Web. 27 Jul. 2010.
O’Berin, Tim. How to Tell a True War Story. The Bedford Introduction to Literature. Ed. Michael Meyer. 8th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2008. 617-631. Print.
Unknown." Metro Lyrics". 2004-1009. 27 07 2010 .
Return to 123HelpMe.com