Period 6 AP Lang
January 5th, 2015
Storytelling is an art depicts images and a plot as well as emotions and details that impact the reader in profound ways. Tim O'Brien is a victim of the Vietnam War and he struggles to express his emotions relating to the war. Because of this, he reverts to storytelling not only to describe his wartime experiences, but to also convey to us his knowledge of human nature. In Tim O'Brien's novel, The Things They Carried, he recounts his memories of Vietnam in the form of stories that change the reader's outlook on a variety of topics. One of O'Brien's chapters, "How to Tell a True War Story" truly exemplifies his role as a storyteller in the unique way he retells each of his stories. O'Brien alters his style with each recount to emphasize the different ways a story can affect a reader. Through his specific style of storytelling, O'Brien is able to describe his different experiences of Vietnam while explaining his perspective of the human situation.
O'Brien's alternation between narrating a story and commenting on its respective effects explicitly expresses his role as a storyteller in this chapter. In doing this, he is also able to point out the influence it had on his view of human disposition and the true nature of war. He explains the traits of a true war story while giving examples of his own. His strategy of retelling a war story with multiple different approaches emphasizes the power of his storyteller position. He claims that "A true war story is never moral"(62), to depict his recount of the incident in a specific way, thus characterizing one of his many experiences . Just like most soldiers after war find a way to cope with their sufferings, O'Brien relays his own experiences by stating that "In any war story, but especially a true one, it's difficult to separate what happened from what seemed to happen"(63). This chapter is unique in the sense that it takes the...
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