Introspection in How to Tell a True War Story, and Into the Wild Essay

Introspection in How to Tell a True War Story, and Into the Wild Essay

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In the text, “How to Tell a True War Story” Tim O’Brien expresses his thoughts about the true war story and how the war story is changed according to the person who tells it. Jon Krakauer illustrates Chris McCandless’s journey into the Alaskan wilderness and reasons for McCandless’s gruesome death in an isolated place, in his book “Into the Wild.” O’Brien relates introspection and a soldier’s war story by saying that the war story portrays the feelings of a soldier. A soldier’s war story is not the exact war story; it is the illustration of that particular soldier’s perception. Narrating a war story is not like inundating others with facts and numbers however, it is about the introspection of a soldier, because that soldier determines what and how to tell the war story. While he tells the war story, he questions his thoughts and feelings. O’Brien explains that when soldiers ponder the external environment they will contemplate their inner thoughts. Krakauer not only elaborates the journey of McCandless but also expresses his experience of traveling to the Alaskan wilderness. This vicarious act of Krakauer ponders the inner thoughts of McCandless. McCandless embarked the journey to detach himself from the social world in order to explore more about him. Both Krakauer and O’Brien analyze about feelings of individuals who were separated from their comfort zones. Introspection is the practice of self-observing one’s thoughts and feelings. When a person analyzes experiences of another person it just gives peripheral thoughts about that person and about the experience. Although it does not enlighten the complete idea, introspection of that experience gives a clearer perspective of that experience.

A person’s experience has a prof...


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...ue war story is a way of introspection. Questioning about the war story and finding the components it has, provide more meaning to the true war story rather than accepting as it is. Through his journey to the Alaskan wilderness, Krakauer discovers more about McCandless. Krakauer constructs some ideas about McCandless from the information he gathered. Although the exact meaning of McCandless journey as well as the true war story is impenetrable, introspection gives main ideas about them and clears the ambiguities. O’Brien and Krakauer use the introspection as a tool and dismantle the obscure part of these experiences.



Works Cited

Krakauer, Jon. Into the Wild. New York: Anchor-   Doubleday, 1997.

O’Brien, Tim. “How To Tell a True War Story.” The Compact Bedford Introduction to Literature. Ed. Michael Meyer. Boston: Bedford St. Martins, 2003. p. 420-429. 

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