Tim O Brien's The Things They Carried

748 Words3 Pages
When writing a novel, it is the author’s decision to honestly reveal facts to the audience or subtly twist the truth. A truthful novel guarantees genuine information about events mentioned in the book; the latter concept (although morally unacceptable) entertains and impacts the audience. The “happening truth” in stories merely states facts and honestly informs the reader about the author’s experiences. A war veteran, for example, may describe his time serving in a foreign country. A man who has suffered through poverty for the majority of his life may write about the obvious hardships he had to face. Despite its honest depiction, “happening truth” is mainly limited to informing the reader. On the contrary, “story truths” allow authors to emotionally connect with their audience. A war veteran might fabricate a short tale about a brutal kill he endured. A poor man might exaggerate the…show more content…
In his classic novel, The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien clearly states that he was “once a soldier” (O’Brien 171) forced to watch innocent men perish on the battlefield. Although several of his experiences are greatly exaggerated, O’Brien forces his reader to see that war still exists today; it is a crude topic that must be recognized. The “happening truth”, if used correctly, can have the same effect as the “story truth”. Frank McCourt’s memoir, Angela’s Ashes, painfully reencounters the agonizing severity of living in a poverty struck Ireland. McCourt’s interpretation of Ireland partially holds true today; currently, over thirty percent of Irish citizens are financially unstable. McCourt and O’Brien use truthful evidence to bring awareness to their experiences. In their entirety, both novels relay the hardships of living in an unknown area where constant reminders of the culture threaten the adaptation of its newer residents. The “happening truth” accurately displays the constant struggle of both war and
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