The Things They Carried By Tim O ' Brien

978 Words4 Pages
There is only one kind of truth, no matter what author Tim O’Brien may think and say in his novel The Things They Carried. As he explains it, story-truth is more of a way to allow someone to comprehend what he went through or felt. Then, what he calls happening-truth is the nut-and-bolt facts of what really happened. But I find serious fault with his definition. Story-truth is not truth. It is not what happened, it is just a way to lie about what really happened. Happening-truth is what really happened. He states several times that a true war story does not seem true, but the untrue war stories seem the truest. In the chapter “How to Tell a True War Story,” O’Brien talks about several things that I could address, but for right now, I will focus on Curt Lemon. Curt Lemon was a soldier and friend who was with O’Brien on a mission into the mountains. He accidentally set off his own grenade while holding it, blowing himself up. O’Brien saw this and in his writing described the sight as almost beautiful, visualizing it for us by explaining how it appeared that the sunlight lifted him up when he exploded. Really? Would that honestly be what any sane person would think, notice and choose to share when they see a friend blown to pieces in a fireball explosion? I don’t think so. I don’t think a person would remember what the sun looked like as it reflected off his friend’s limp body and with gore flying in all directions. Most people would be appalled and shocked, focusing on what
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