The Things They Carried Happening Vs Heart Truth

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In the book “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien the author demonstrates the preference for heart-truth over happening-truth because, by using this type of style, he is able to communicate emotions that he experienced first hand in the war without the limitation of being true to his real life comrades. By taking these liberties with his writing style he is able to give more depth to his characters then he would be able to give to his real life piers. One area in particular that he was able to explore better was the inner emotions of the characters he created for his short stories. This allowed him to create characters that his audience would be able to better identify with in understanding the realities of war. One such example of his use of heart-truth is in his development of the character Tim O’Brien, in the story “On a Rainy River”. In this short story Tim grapples with implications of being drafted as a U.S soldier in the Vietnam War. In helping his readers to experience this issue first hand through the eyes of Tim, they are able to experience the cataclysmic sentiments going through the mind of some body who out of no where is called into serve as a soldier in the horrific Vietnam experience. Upon hearing that he has been drafted he wrestles with the difficult decision of weather to serve his country as required or consider more radical possibilities such as fleeing the country. Tim has a really hard time making this decision and exhausts every possible alternative to avoiding his obligation. He spent a gut wrenching summer debating his options before ultimately deciding to flee eight hours north of Worthington, to Canada. It is in these moments that the author is able to most effectively use the heart-truth style, putting us into the mind of the character to such a degree that we would never attain if it were written as happening-truth. When Tim

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