Tell A True War Story Analysis

1076 Words5 Pages
“Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few” Winston Churchill. Churchill attempts to explain the rigors of war, and how the majority of citizens owe everything they have to the few that fight to protect them. Likewise, Tim O’Brien tries to explain to his readers just what war is like, including all the gruesome details, vulgarity, and obscenity. In “How to Tell a True War Story,” O’Brien tells the reader there are certain rules that must be followed in order to tell a true war story. Without using O’Brien’s methodology, one cannot tell a true war story. First, O’Brien states “A true war story is never moral” (347). Then he instructs us not to believe the story if it seems moral, as there is no morals or virtue within war. When telling a true story about war, one must include all the graphic details just to paint the picture for the reader. O’Brien writes “If you don’t care for obscenity, you don’t care for the truth” (347). The gore, the vulgarity, and the obscenity are all relevant in order to convey the emotions and state of mind of the people who were involved. The author cannot…show more content…
In “How to Tell a True War Story,” he offers an amazing evaluation of the Vietnam era War Fighter and the story is influenced by his own service in the war. O’Brien begins this short story by stating matter-of-factly “This is true.” He then goes on with a third person narrative, as his friend Bob Kiley, who is also known as Rat, had once told this story to him, and now he is just repeating the story to us. Then, O’Brien mixes in an instructional point of view in order to define for the reader just what truth is and what it entails. He continues this flip-flop of narrative and instruction and with this back and forth one will begin to realize just how hard it is to tell the truth when it comes to

More about Tell A True War Story Analysis

Open Document