Things They Carried 'By Tim O' Brien: Literary Analysis

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A.P. English 11 May 27, 2014 What is a true war story? One that tells of death and gloom, or one that defends the peaceful front? The Things They Carried written by Tim O’Brien explains to the world of readers what a true war story is. O’Brien tells these stories with different tones depending on which recollection; it is light and hopeful during “Love” or dark and hopeless within “The Man I Killed.” To create these works he uses imagination and invention to describe the true difficulties of a true war story. The first place for difficulties to lie is in perspective. There is a tear of perspective, an enormous gap, between the eyes of a soldier and the eye of a citizen. Only the soldier sees the true horror of the events. They are the only ones that know the truth; sometimes the truth is to…show more content…
He states: “If a story seems moral, do not believe it” (O’Brien 65). This is where another difficulty lies. Every patriotic citizen looking to be supportive of the war is naïve; they look for a moral to what they are doing. Some will defend with this: “We are fighting to keep our country free.” Or “It’s for the betterment of the nation.” They, within their small perspectives, found moral to the stories. The true war story has no moral; ask one’s self, “Is war truly moral? How is killing others justifiable by society or god and how is it moral?” Citizens, as well as most frontline soldiers, try to find this moral to soften the cold hard truth of it all; While they try to soften the blow of reality, the stories lose their truth, they are bent, they are “skewed” as O’Brien would say. It is simply another way to lose a true war story. The last way of telling a true war story is through belief. O’Brien stated: “It comes down to gut instinct. A true war story, if truly told, makes the stomach believe” (74). A quote from the book gives us a war

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