Essay on Analysis Of Tim O ' Brien 's ' The Vietnam War '

1096 Words Mar 24th, 2016 5 Pages
How to Tell a True War Story Analysis Tim O’Brien’s sixth chapter, “How to Tell a True War Story”, is an analysis of different stories Obrien shares of the Vietnam War. Throughout the chapter, Obrien provides three anecdotes from the war and details what a true war story is. He tells the stories from the role of a soldier, and explains the machinations of a true war story from the role of a storyteller. In each story, O’Brien emphasizes the truth. Whether he directly tells the reader, or a character within the story highlights it, he pressures the reader to believe that each story is true. Though he puts emphasis on the absolute truth of war stories, the meaning behind them is what matters. The meaning behind each story demonstrates a different aspect of war to help the reader comprehend its complexities. He allows the reader to understand the meanings by using the theme of listening. While each story has a figure that does not listen, the figure helps represent a different feature of the Vietnam War to aid the reader in discerning war as a whole. The first anecdote is about a man named Bob Kiley and his response to the death of his best friend, Curt Lemon. After Lemon’s death, Kiley writes a letter to Lemon’s sister explaining Lemon’s greatness and the friendship the two had. Though Kiley poured his heart out in the letter, Lemon’s sister never writes back, enraging Kiley. In this story, O’Brien uses the sister’s lack of response to represent the figure that does not…

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