The Truth In O Brien's The Things They Carried

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To attempt to tell a story exactly how it occurred is practically impossible. As time passes, you tend to lose grasp of the certain details that happened in that reality. Sooner or later the truth becomes twisted whether you want it to or not. The Things They Carried is a collection of short stories from multiple points of view of members of the Alpha Company. In the novel, O’Brien attempts to be unbiased when narrating others’ lives, but reality becomes slippery when he tries to fill in the missing pieces in order to embellish the story for his own objectives. O'Brien constantly attempts to fill in the blanks in order to complete the stories of the veterans, based on his personal expectations with these specific character. O’Brien writes in replacement of what he expects they would say.…show more content…
What O'Brien does is “...heat up the truth to make it burn so hot that you would feel exactly what he felt.” (89) to stress on the emotional aspect of the war, proving that he is more concerned with drawing an emotional response rather than accuracy. The main point of The Things They Carried was not to give factual information but to present a firsthand account of what it was like to be in the Vietnam war, therefore he accomplished what he was aiming to do. Nonetheless these stories could be considered O’Brien’s truth, the ones written from his perspective in the first person. O'Brien simply wants his audience to experience the war exactly how he felt it. That’s why he wrote his story truth, to exaggerate the story to a point where the reader could experience the war in their own home. Sometimes “...story truth is truer sometimes than happening truth.” (179). Because contrary to popular belief, you can forget experiences like these. All that he had remembered was that he was there, fighting the same fight everyone else had been

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