Tim O Brien How To Tell A True War Story Analysis

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M L C Prof. Ibrahim ENG 101 February 17, 2014 ExplainingTrue War Stories War is not a place for the light hearted or a place for people with a soft stomach. In the end, war is really a battle between beauty and ugliness. A real war story is rarely a story at all, just a sequence of events that lead to the narrator thinking about all they have lost. In the chapter “How to Tell a True War Story” by Tim O’Brien, the author uses vivid imagery and symbolism to illustrate the underlying theme of the chapter “war is hell” and true war stories very seldom end with a happy conclusion. The author describes the deep friendship between Curt Lemon and Rat Kiley and how everything in a single second can be taken away. O’Brien explains that Pplacing…show more content…
When he returned home, age was only a number. He was forced to grow extremely fast because he was exposed to real life morale dilemmas between right and wrong. O’Brien uses the illustrates symbolism that in the scene with of the baby water buffalo to illustrate misplaced anger. Rat had lost his best friend in Curt Lemon, and wrote a heart felt letter to Lemon’s sister describing the role her brother had played in his life. It was not really a war story at all, it was more of a love story as described by O’Brien. When no reply came, he lashed out. O’Brien described this as an act of rationalized anger. He was in a place where emotions were extremely hard to properly explain. Kiley was exposed to an unspeakable event at such a young age and does the only thing his immature mind could muster up. Sadly, the baby water buffalo was the recipient of Kiley’s misplaced anger. He was not angry at the water buffalo, he was letting his anger out so he could essentially function better in the war. This is significant because the war did not allow Kiley to properly mourn Lemon’s death. Rat was unable to sit with his thoughts and the only emotion that comes out is he had was physical. Emotions are a hard thing to have in war, O’Brien uses the water buffalo to illustrate how those emotions are often times used for violence. War creates extreme situations
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