College Essay

579 Words3 Pages
Simone Jones February 6, 2013 Ballard 5B The Things They Carried What separates the truth from a tale? One person’s truth may be different from another person’s truth. That does not mean it is a tale simply because someone’s perspective can be totally different from the next person. The truth is not how something happens; the truth is what happens and how it is retold. So how are a tale and the truth distinguished? In “How to Tell a True War Story,” Tim O’Brien gives a certain criteria to a true war story that allows the reader to determine whether the story is true or not, based on morality, exaggeration, difficulty, meaning, and more. “It doesn’t suggest proper human behavior,” states O’Brien. In “Sweetheart of the Song of Tra Bong,” Mary Anne displays strange behavior. From the story Rat Kiley is telling, she goes from a beautiful sweetheart, to an ugly land loving creature. After so many days in Vietnam, she begins to walk barefoot, not clip her nails, cuts her hair short and no longer cares about her hygiene. She also wears a tongue of necklace when she is found by Fossie. According to Rat Kiley, Mary Anne eventually adapts to the lifestyle of the Greenies but she takes it to the extreme. Morals are irrelevant for a true story. O’Brien says, “If the story has a moral, it is not true.” In the short story “Flies,” the speaker uses flies as a metaphor to represent death. In the opening paragraph he mentions his grandmother and brother, but why? The speaker is not trying to teach a lesson. He is basically telling us about an incident that occurred after war. Both stories meet other parts of O’Brien’s criteria also. In “Flies,” the speaker uses exaggeration to tell the reader about what happened to his brother when his grandmother hit him with her cane, “there was blood coming out of his face, his nose.” How did that happened from just a hit with a

More about College Essay

Open Document