How To Tell A True War Story Essay

How to Tell a True War Story Essays

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War can be defined as “an active struggle between competing entities. It’s truly hard to tell who is right or wrong during a war. Both sides are fighting for what they believe in and what is true to their heart. In the end there is always two things promised – destruction and death. These two objects can explain the result in every facet of war from the physical to emotional.
     In “How to Tell a True War Story” O’Brien explores the relationship between the events during a war and the art of telling those events. O’Brien doesn’t come to a conclusion on what is a true war story. He writes that one can’t generalize the story as well. According to O’Brien, war can be anything from love and beauty to the most horrid…show more content…

This is similar to what happened to Krebs in Hemingway’s “Soldier’s Home”. Krebs has returned home to find that it is not that everybody and the world around him has changed, but he was the one that had changed. He has fought in some of the worst wars there were and he didn’t want to come back home. Krebs dreaded coming back to the states, and would have preferred to stay overseas. Krebs was once used to a normal life. He went to a Christian school and was a part of a fraternity. His perception on life had changed drastically after enlisting in the military and fighting in a war. When he returned home, the girls that he saw on the street were the same as when he was there years ago. His father still parks his car in the same spot day in and day out. His mother tries to encourage him to get a job, but he doesn’t care. He was so accustomed to the repetition of a soldier’s life. He couldn’t adjust to the typical lifestyle that other soldiers made. Somehow you can see the struggle he is going through. After the physical war, there was a war going on internally. Krebs had lost his emotion and will to care. The horror he experienced actually seeing first-hand life and death situations were incomprehensible to his parents. There was no way they would be able to identify with him.
It doesn’t matter where anyone played a role in a war; the nature of the war itself leaves a tremendous impact on everyone’s life. Just retelling a story

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How to Tell a True War Story by Tim O’ Brien

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According to the Indian Times, madness is the rule in warfare (Hebert). The madness causes a person to struggle with experiences while in the war. In “How to Tell a True War Story”, the madness of the war caused the soldiers to react to certain situations within the environment differently. Tim O’Brien’s goal with the story “How to Tell a True War Story” is to shed light on the madness the soldiers face while in the war. Tim O’Brien tells the true story of Rat experiences of the war changing his life.
Bob Kiley, a soldier that everyone called Rat experienced a type of warfare that caused him a personal type of madness. O’Brien believes that Rat’s true experiences began when he lost his friend Lemon. Lemon and Rat was playing catch when Lemon stepped on a booby-trap. Today, people have counselors and support systems to assist them with deal with the death of a partner in war. However, the time of war Ray experience did not offer these benefits. To deal with his pain he attempted to take his frustration out on a water buffalo. He thought that by shooting the animal through various parts of its body would ease the pain that he felt. Once he wrote to his sister to tell her that “what a great brother she had (617). Lemon’s sister did not respond to the letter the he sent this hurt him even more. The truth in the story is that Rat experiences a true disconnect between the war and a person that has never experience the war.
Norman Bowker’s singing shows his experience of madness of the war. He sings, “I’m wasting my time. I got nothing to do. I’m hanging around. I’m waiting on you” (Lemon Tree). These are the lines that he sings while picking parts of Lemon’s body from the tree. Tim O’Brien shows the truth of how fellow soldiers face the death. Although the though of cleaning up a friend body parts the truth is Bowker faces this with a song. The truth is that instance death is a part of every day life in war.
Tim O’Brien is doing the best he can to stay true to the story for his fellow soldiers. Tim O’Brien believed that by writing the story of soldiers in war as he saw it brings some type of justice to soldiers in a war situation.

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O’Brien shows the brave of Rat and the sensitive of a man torn by the death of a close friend. Rat’s describes his friend as someone that was a stand up guy. The fact that Lemon’s sister did not respond to his letter hurt him tremendously.
The Indian Times defines madness as the rule in warfare (Hebert). The madness can cause a person to struggle with the experiences of war. In “How to Tell a True War Story”, the madness of the war causes the soldiers to react to certain situations within the environment differently. Tim O’Brien’s goal main goal with the story “How to Tell a True War Story” is to shed light on the madness the soldiers face while in the war and how each one deals with their issues the best way possible.






Works Cited

Herbert, Bob. "'War Is Personal'; 'Wars are planned in corridors of power, fought by ordinary people'. " News India - Times 4 Apr. 2003,Ethnic NewsWatch (ENW), ProQuest. Web. 27 Jul. 2010.
O’Berin, Tim. How to Tell a True War Story. The Bedford Introduction to Literature. Ed. Michael Meyer. 8th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2008. 617-631. Print.
Unknown." Metro Lyrics". 2004-1009. 27 07 2010



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