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The Things They Carried By Tim O'bryan

807 words - 4 pages

Truths are concepts that are not simply recognized, but that are to be discovered or created. One person's truth may be seen by another as a lie. What is the difference between an unnoticed myth and an unrecognized truth? The difference between the two lies within the eye of the beholder. For Tim O'Brien, the author and narrator of The Things They Carried, truth equals what the reader thinks happened and what really happened. Whether or not it actually happened does not matter; something can happen and not be true. In The Things They Carried, “Good Form”, “Dulce et Decorum Est,” and as well as “The War Prayer,” the truth may or may not be involved; truth is what you believe it to be.
The difficult association between the occurrence of war and storytelling is told through the eyes of Tim O’Brien; he explains that a true war story has a supreme adherence to offensiveness that provides a sense of pride and courage commonly found in storytelling. “The thing about a story is that you dream it as you tell it, hoping that others might then dream along with you, and in this way memory and imagination and language combine to make spirits in the head. There is the illusion of aliveness” (O’Brien 218). Tim O’Brien wants the readers to relate to the characters and the idea of war, even if it may or may not be true. He also wants the readers to know that a true war story is never moral and if it seems moral, not to believe it. “A true war story is never moral. It does not instruct, nor encourage virtue, nor suggest models of proper human behavior, nor restrain men from doing the things men have always done. If a story seems moral, do not believe it. If at the end of a war story you feel uplifted, or if you feel that some small bit of rectitude has been salvaged from the larger waste, then you have been made the victim of a very old and terrible lie. There is no rectitude whatsoever. There is no virtue. As a first rule of thumb, therefore, you can tell a true war story by its absolute and uncompromising allegiance to obscenity and evil.” (O’Brien 65)
` In the short story, “Good Form,” from the collection of stories he...

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