Introspection in How to Tell a True War Story, and Into the Wild

1494 WordsJul 9, 20186 Pages
In the text, “How to Tell a True War Story” Tim O’Brien expresses his thoughts about the true war story and how the war story is changed according to the person who tells it. Jon Krakauer illustrates Chris McCandless’s journey into the Alaskan wilderness and reasons for McCandless’s gruesome death in an isolated place, in his book “Into the Wild.” O’Brien relates introspection and a soldier’s war story by saying that the war story portrays the feelings of a soldier. A soldier’s war story is not the exact war story; it is the illustration of that particular soldier’s perception. Narrating a war story is not like inundating others with facts and numbers however, it is about the introspection of a soldier, because that soldier determines…show more content…
As an author, O’Brien explains feelings of one of his readers in this way “She’ll explain that as a rule she hates war stories; she can’t understand why people want to wallow in all the blood and gore” (449). This reader views a war story as inhumane, and it conveys the cruelty of blood and death. This is an easy conclusion, but it is also trivial. Most obvious part of a war story is numbers and facts regarding the casualties, and it will absorb the whole attention of a person. It will create a thought that war stories are always savage. If that person never attempts to see the inconspicuous part of the war story, it never comes to brink. Then the false conclusion of the war story persists forever. This false conclusion is created due to the ambiguity that existed in perceiving an experience. The reason for this ambiguity is superficial thoughts about that experience. To discover more about McCandless, Krakauer not only travels to wilderness and questions himself but also gathers information about McCandless from people who knew him. Krakauer shares the view of an Alaskan correspondent, which says “The scope of his self-styled adventure was so small as to ring pathetic … Only one word for the guy: incompetent” (358). This correspondent describes McCandless journey as ‘pathetic’ and McCandless as ‘incompetent’ person. Words of this correspondent criticize the act of McCandless without any substantial information. This shows that

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