The Truth Within: "The Things They Carried" by Tim O'Brien

Essay by julzanneCollege, UndergraduateA+, February 2007

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People do not like to be lied to, especially when it comes about the past and history. Throughout the course of history, some of the facts can get twisted and altered around as they remember. When telling stories, people like to tell it the way the usually remember from their certain perspective and how it has made them feel. For example, when asking several soldiers about a certain event that has occurred in the military and war that they may be in, they would all have different perspectives on the event. It is not that some soldiers are lying and the others are saying the truth, but it's the way they tell the story to get the person to understand how they felt like. In The Things They Carried, O'Brien has a certain way in telling his and his buddies war stories. In order to truly convey how the soldiers felt, O'Brien manipulates the actual facts to make it gut wrenching, so you can get a better understanding on how they feel.

O'Brien emphasizes how good form is a must when trying to explain how story-truth is sometimes truer then happening-truth. When using good form, not only do you catch the reader's attention, but you make it seem so real it is like they can understand what you went through. The ways O'Brien's stories are told do not necessarily have to be told with only the facts present. As mentioned in "Good Form," "It's not a game. It's a form. I want you to feel what I felt" (179), he is specifically saying that just by twisting the truth around is not to mess around, it is the only way to make others understand. People who have not been to wars will never understand the hardships and everything they go...