The Thing 's They Carried By Tim Obrien Essay

The Thing 's They Carried By Tim Obrien Essay

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Tim Obrien’s novel, “The Thing’s They Carried,” centralized on the belief that storytelling can save our lives. When stories are told we look for meaning within the stories. Stories affect people in many different ways, and sometimes trying to tell a whole story does not always tell the real truth. He uses storytelling to deal with the loss and grief he encountered during the Vietnam War. Although he is sharing his stories post-war, he challenges his readers in deciding which stories are actually considered true war stories. Sharing and telling stories were outlets for the soldiers.
O’Brien would describe a true war story as a story without any moral to it. A true war story is one in which the reader will be able to make the stomach believe (pg.74). Stories that soldiers would tell were ways to keep the soldiers levelheaded and to find a moral obligation to war. O’Brien’s stories are ways to reflect on the memories of the men who have fought and experienced death together. In his story, “How to Tell a True War Story,” he speaks of the death of Rat Kiley’s best friend, Curt Lemon. He says that sometimes in war stories it becomes difficult to distinguish between what actually happened and what seemed to happen (pg.67). When telling a true war story it is easy to leave things out because in that moment you look away from the things you do not want to visualize. When he describes Rat Kiley’s torturing of the baby buffalo after Lemon’s death, he is able to show the love and friendship that developed during the war.
Although many of the soldiers mentioned were killed, through his stories he brought heart and spirit to the dead through animation and imagination. He does this in order to try and understand the events that took place in...


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...ike listening to his thoughts he had going through the war. Every soldier deals with life after war differently, and whether or not he is truly ‘okay’ may still be up for debate.
In our lives, storytelling is just another form of communication. Listening to a story is a form of entertainment: a way of stepping outside your boundaries and being guided to a different space or time in the world. We laugh, we cry, or we become angered, storytelling brings out our inner emotions. And this is how storytelling has saved Tim O’Brien. From all the chaos and trauma he endured during the war, by telling stories he was able to away from the pain and suffering and enters a world of imagination that no one else could disturb. At this point he felt the urge to go on with life and still be the same Timmy he sees skating with Linda under yellow floodlights, young and happy (pg.233).

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