Truth In The Things They Carried

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The Things They Carried Essay The Things They Carried is not an ordinary war novel about killing and pure sadness over death. It contains feelings, both hidden and obvious, and contains a question of whether what is being said is truth or false. O’Brian, the author, brings in items that soldiers carry and tries to include that in the description of who the soldiers are as people. These items can range anywhere from pictures of loved ones to lucky pantyhose. Accompanying physical items throughout the book are the hidden unseen items that at times mean more than what’s actually being seen. An attempt to bring together extended truths, feelings, and events are the basis of this amazing book, The Things They Carried. Reality is shown throughout…show more content…
Everyday people lie about something with the intent of never getting caught or with bad intentions in mind, but this book shows how lies can actually be good at a moment and furthermore have some truth behind them. O’Brian describes it in a few simple words, “Story truth is truer than actual truth. Story truth shows feelings and make the past the present.” Throughout the book, lies are really just exaggerated truth bearing a true statement surrounded by a bunch of false items to back it up. This is described when O’Brian states, “…you start sometimes with an incident that truly happened,…, and carry it forward by inventing incidents that did not in fact occur but that none the less help to clarify and explain it”. An example of this statement occurred when O’Brian was stating that he killed a young man and there were scars on his face and his jaw was in his throat and his eye was blown out and in the shape of a star. He goes on to say a butterfly landed on his cheek giving attention to an untouched nose. Although some, if not most of this story was true, there isn’t full truth behind every little thing he stated. O’Brian wanted to exaggerate a little to make the reader feel as if he/she was there and feeling exactly what he was feeling at the time. Towards the end of the book, O’Brian describes his writing and says that some of his writing at first did actually happen, but the names…show more content…
Yes O’Brian exaggerated on things and yes he left out some big points, but it was all to get his point across and through everything he wrote, the main truthful point remained there. He concluded his book by saying “in stories the dead live.” This shows that in books who’s to say what you can’t put down and who’s to say what didn’t happen. It is a story, not a trial, and sometimes a little exaggeration provides the feeling and present moment the reader or listener needs to understand the actual

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