In the book notion of truth is related to The Things They Carried the notion of truth is shown multiple times in the story. Tim explains many topics in the story which can be portrayed wrongly without the true understanding of the novel. The first topic I will be talking about is truth, next is fear and lastly is humanity. Truth, fear , and humanity is shown many times in the story which surrounds arounds deaths and reality of war.The book mentions O’Brien, something isn’t true unless it feels true. Whether or not it actually happened is beside the point.
Something can even have happened and not be true. The best way for O’Brien to communicate his Vietnam experience in The Things They Carried is to give us the “story-truth,” not the “happening-truth.” This could mean a true thing what happened but there was not enough thrill so O’Brien added some detail to make it more interesting.
O’Brien says ” A true is 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, If a story never seems moral , do not believe it. If at the end of a war story you feel uplifted , or you feel that some small bit of rectitude have been salvage from the larger waste, then you have been made the victim of a very old and terrible lie.” (68) This quote means that all war stories are terrible stories and that even if we won a war or got something out of it , it was still terrible there was death , there were towns destroyed , families killed and many more problems. And that is the reason why all Tim O’brien’s stories are so detailed and crazy sounding because he bases them of how terrible and hard war is. The Things They Carried stories are told very dark with death, diseases , conflicts and many more aspects. Which brings me into my next quote which is how most war stories are not being portrayed how they should be. My next quote for The Things They Carried is.
” A true war story if truly told, makes the stomach believe.” (79) This basically comes down to the stories told are ruff and never should be taken as ” war is happy” but in reality it’s hell. This quote can also mean that most stories told are not as vaguely told as how they really happen or should be told. Another main thing in the novel is fear.
Fear is a huge problem recurring to Tim and other characters in the novel. Fear of death was the most drastic thing thought about from the men in the novel. Tim explained that cowardness is a common secret among soldiers.
He shows the notion that men go to war to be heroes. Instead, he says they go because they are forced to and because turning it down equals cowardness. Tim was a man when is came to being a coward like the quote ” At some point in mid july I began thinking seriously about Canada”.
(44) O’Brien explains here that he is really considering about crossing the border but that the only thing that kept him from listening to his own guilt and running away from the war and across the border to Canada was the notion that the people in his hometown would think him a coward. My last topic or main concept in the book is guilt. Guilt is a huge part in this novel because many of the characters or soldiers feel guilt and embarrassment for not going to the war. The guilt could come from cowardness which is tied together with the other topic fear. The fear and guilt what comes from war is a serious problem.
My first quote is ” ” A quick swim.” “where?” “right here,” I said. “Stay put” she watched me unwrap the cloth bundle. Inside were Kiowa’s old moccasins.” (186) this quote is super powerful because O’brien felt guilt about not being able to save Kiowa from the human waste. O’brien couldn’t bare the smell of the waste and couldn’t go into or submerge his body to pull out Kiowa so he brought Kiowa remains also known as his moccasins, what he loved. In conclusion Tim O’brien wrote this novel knowing the attention or hate would receive on this novel.
O’brien wrote this book in my opinion revolving around truth, fear , and guilt. These concepts are very powerful topics to talk about death and the detail or information written about them. The reason why I think this novel was so powerful and so much different perspectives were thought about is crazy, the amount of people who said he was wrong about lying about certain and making up events is wrong but the feedback he received of all the good feedback to show how war is really like and the strugglers like hallucinations and PTSD can occur.