How to Tell a True War Story Theme Essay

633 WordsFeb 27, 20133 Pages
Natalie Gosmeyer Eng 1020 MWF 2-6-13 Evans Theme Paper: How to Tell a True War Story People try to understand the world through perception of experiences that they encounter. These encounters include either living through the experience firsthand, or the experience being conveyed by another person. Our perception weeds out main ideas from those experiences deeming them realistic and if so labels them truths. However, our perception of the obtained truth from those experiences is not always credible because as a recipient we are restricted to the amount of experience we can retain. Meaning the perceptions of the labeled truths is a result of our translation of incomplete experiences into new perception resulting from what he or she could retain from the original experience. Those variety of truths all connect to a main idea that allows them to be truths, this is explained in Tim O’Brien’s “How to Tell War Story”. O’Brien observed while trying to retell his war stories that alterations appeared when he was retelling it, but found this doesn’t make the altered stories false because they retained the same basis or idea from the unaltered experience causing them to be truths. Truth, in essence, is constantly being translated from limited experiences in an effort to convey a similar idea as the original experience so recipients can partially experience that experience believable. Due to our limitations as recipients, which cause truth to vary among us, discovering truth becomes impossible because of its constant changes. When we encounter experiences through person-to-person, alterations occur at times on purpose by the conveyor on the experience, so the translation by the recipient can result in the closest experience to the experience retained by the conveyor. These changes highlight the retained ideas in the experience, allowing it to remain a truth, O’Brien

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