Tim O'Brien Writing Style

1505 WordsJan 25, 20186 Pages
Another way O’Brien weaves a new story to portray emotional “truth” is by inserting “lies,” or events that may have not happen. O’Brien states “Often the crazy stuff is true and the normal stuff isn’t, because the normal stuff is necessary to believe the truly incredible craziness” (71); this is displayed when Rat Kiley tells the story of Mary Anne and Mitchell Sanders replies with “all that had to be there for a reason. That’s how stories work” (O’Brien 102) when explaining how he knew she was with the Green Berets. Rat Kiley provided basic background information on the Green Berets, such as there were six of them who had their own area and occasionally vanished for a couple days (O’Brien 92). While none of that may be the “happening-truth” - or maybe all of it may be the happening “truth” - it doesn’t really matter. O’Brien implies that the information is not the “happening-true” only to imply the real “truth”, the “story-truth”; Mary Anne’s story was weaved with fiction in order for the readers to understand the “story-truth.” She was there to display how war affected the soldiers: “What happened to her… was what happened to all of them. You come over clean and you get dirty and then afterwards it’s never the same” (O’Brien 114). The juxtaposition of her young feminine innocence in the beginning and in the end with her disappearance was a stronger story than stating the war broke the minds of men. O’Brien weaves his story to depict the “story-truth.” In addition, readers
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