Tim O Brien's Interpretation Of Truth

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What is Truth? Truth is difficult to explain, and often takes deep thought and reflection to completely understand. The Oxford English Dictionary defines truth as simply, “The quality or state of being true.” While this definition may serve for most purposes, it is not much help when one is trying to determine the deeper meaning of truth. Tim O’Brien’s interpretations of truth throughout the book can help us to grasp a better idea of what truth really is. O’Brien’s thoughts on truth may seem oversimplified or confusing, but they carry a lot of meaning. “This is true,” (O’Brien 64) This simple sentence is how Tim O’Brien starts a chapter in his book which is composed, almost entirely, of fiction. Even so, according to how he determines truth, the book really is completely and 100% true. “True war stories do not generalize. They do not indulge in abstraction or analysis,” (O’Brien 74). This short description gives a major criteria for determining truth. O’Brien takes the example of a simple statement, “War is hell,” and says even though it seems true at first he can not believe it…show more content…
“A true war story is never moral. It does not instruct, nor encourage virtue, nor suggest models of proper human behavior, nor restrain men from doing the things men have always done,” (O’Brien 65). An important part of truth is that it is not always the best asset in a story. O’Brien’s idea is that truth does not directly coincide with morality and goodness like we are taught. “In a true war story, if there’s a moral at all, it’s like the thread that makes the cloth. You can’t tease it out. You can’t extract the meaning without unraveling the deeper meaning,” (O’Brien 74) In the circumstance that there is some form of moral to the truth, the two are intertwined. O’Brien explains that you can not remove the meaning of a story without unravelling the deeper truth of

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