The power of story truth and happening truth in the life of Tim O’BrienThe author Tim O’Brien finds the way to tell his Vietnam War experience in his book by giving the story-truth and not happening-truth. The story-truth that never happened to him shows how he felt inside during the fighting for his life.
The happening-truth seems to him not as interesting as the fiction that he tells in the story “The Things They Carried.” The story-truth is the better way to share human experience, and it is demonstrated the work by Tim O’Brien.In the story “On The Rainy River” the author and the main character Tim O’Brien describes his story-truth and happening-truth experiences about the Vietnam War. In the fiction story, he faces the conflict of whether he should or should not go to war after being drafted.
He says, “I was drafted to fight a war I hated” (O’Brien 40). He had two reasons why he hated this war. The first reason is that this war in Vietnam seemed to him wrong and it was a senseless case of shedding human blood.
The second reason is that O’Brien was terrified of leaving his family and everything he loves behind. The author uses literary devices such as tone and irony. The tone of the story is depressing, sad, and ironic. The irony “At dinner that night my father asked what my plans were. “Nothing,” I said.
” (O’Brien 42). The iron is that Tim badly wants to escape from the war, even when he gets close to an escape point, but he just doesn’t try. Tim demonstrates that he is stuck contemplating whether or not to face the Vietnam war and is rather depressed by the thought that going to war he might not make it back to his family and friends. The story-truth moments of the story are that Tim states “I hate the sight of blood” (O’Brien 41). The author uses literary devices such as irony. Tim states that he hates the sight of blood; yet, his most recent summer job involved removing blood clots from pig heads at the local slaughterhouse.
At the end of the short story, Tim’s final decision about the Irony draft notice was to accept it. He had gone to war and was in sight of blood every for the majority of his time there.The article, “Tim O’Brien on What We Can Learn From Ken Burns’ The Vietnam War” in the interview Tim O’Brien talks about his work The Things They Carried. He claims that he was telling the truth through non-fiction. O’Brien felt that he can show what Vietnam War was, through writing about what could have happened. In the book, he allowed his characters “the one who carried my name but wasn’t me—to think about all this stuff” (Ackerman). By creating a fictional character, Tim was able to portray and pass on his emotions to these characters.
He mentions that the book is emotionally closer to what the war actually was. He states that the “ambiguity of the experience is captured through fiction” (Ackerman). In addition, he mentions that he was forced to fight, it was not voluntary. Most of the guys were drafted. It wasn’t a choice for them; they were not able to say no.
This relates to the song “Fortunate son” because it provides an example of how the middle class wasn’t fortunate. They were born without privileges to choose whether or not they want to fight the war. The song “Fortunate Son” is a powerful song that has a two meaning, one is that it is a against Vietnam War song, and another meaning behind it is that it shows social class differences of those who were wealthy and middle class. The main theme of the song is that the children who rich and born into families that have political power and have advantages over the middle-class children. The author states that “Some folks are born silver spoon in hand,” (Fogerty). Rich children whatever they want, and can avoid occurrences experienced by middle-class children, such as being drafted to fight in the Vietnam War. In the song words “Senator’s son” and “silver spoon in hand” symbolizes the wealthy sons who can avoid the war. The author also uses metaphor when he states that “some folks inherit star spangles eyes” (Fogerty).
The phrase is used as a metaphor because people can not inherit spangled eyes but people can inherit patriotism. In Elliot Ackerman’s article is closely related to the concerns voiced in “Fortunate Son” because Tim O’Brien mentions that he was forced to fight; it was not voluntary. For the most of the guys it wasn’t a choice; they were not able to say no because they were middle class. The song shows that the children of the rich and those born into families that have political power have advantages over middle-class children; they had a chance to choose.The author Tim O’Brien writes a story that reflects on the event in American history, the Vietnam War. In his novel, he incorporates both fictional and non-fictional events and characters. Through these fictional events, he is able to express his non-fictional opinions and feelings that he had when he was at war.