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The Things They Carried Thinking Paper

By:   •  September 29, 2014  •  Essay  •  611 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,322 Views

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The Things They Carried

Thinking Paper

Often times, we have much greater success in comprehending literature when we are able to connect it to something we can understand, such as our own lives, or another piece of literature. In The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien, it may be difficult to understand the idea of what is true and what is not true, even though it appears to a black and white concept, in reality it can be much more gray and difficult to identify. I have an easier time understanding this idea in the TV show "Lost" and within my own life.

In The Things They Carried, the author Tim O'Brien explores the concept of a true war story. In the chapter, How to Tell a True War Story, O'Brien talks about what is required for a true war story. "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. If a story seems moral, do not believe it." (65) In all of this criteria, not once does O'Brien mention that the war story actually has to be true. This is because any war story that breaks those rules, doesn't really tell the truth about the war as a whole. O'Brien tells many stories throughout the book that turn out being completely untrue, and yet he calls them "true war stories". This perception of truth is a very interesting take on a formerly simple idea. O'Brien tells us a story of how a comrade named Curt Lemon died. He says he watched the sunlight come around him and lift him up and suck him into the trees. Obviously, that is not the real truth. Lemon actually died from a grenade explosion. However, O'Brien tells the reader that the first portrayal is the exact truth as it seemed.

In Lost, a commercial plane crash lands on an island, and about 45 people survive the crash. These people must work together to stay alive on this cursed island until they can be rescued. However, this island seems to be very supernatural


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