How do you tell a true war story?
A true war story can be identified by the questions one asks afterward, O’Brien says. He says that in the story of a man who jumps on a grenade to save his three friends, the truth of the man’s purpose makes a difference.
Why is a true war story never moral?
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. As a first rule of thumb, therefore, you can tell a true war story by its absolute and uncompromising allegiance to obscenity and evil.
Are war stories true?
There is no true war story here. Fiction makes for better copy, but in the end, there’s nothing much to say about a true war story, except maybe “Oh,” and perhaps that is the point. There is no point in it.
How can you tell if a water buffalo is a true war story?
O’Brien says you can tell a true war story if it embarrasses you. If you’re not one for obscenities, then you can’t care about truth—and if that’s the case then you should look out for how you vote because it might end up sending boys to war that come back speaking obscenely.
What does the baby water buffalo symbolize?
The puppy and baby water buffalo symbolize innocence and purity. In the beginning, O’Brien recalls when a fellow soldier, Azar, strapped a puppy to a mine and squeezed the firing device. Azar rejoices in the animal’s violent death because it gives him a sense of control over his own circumstances.
Why hasn’t o’Brien ever told the story on the Rainy River?
Why hasn’t O’Brien ever told the story “On the Rainy River”? Why does he decide to do so now? He thought it would only cause embarrassment for all of them. He is doing ithe now because he wants to relieve at least some of the pressure on his dreams.
What did Tim O’Brien carry physically?
The narrator, Tim O’Brien, describes the things all the men of the company carry. They are things in the most physical sense—mosquito repellent and marijuana, pocket knives and chewing gum. All men carry the figurative weight of memory and the literal weight of one another.
What did Henry Dobbins carry emotionally?
Each man’s physical burden underscores his emotional burden. Henry Dobbins, for example, carries his girlfriend’s pantyhose and, with them, the longing for love and comfort. Similarly, Jimmy Cross carries compasses and maps and, with them, the responsibility for the men in his charge.
Why did O’Brien go to war?
Although O’Brien never mentions his reason for going to the Canadian border, he has the sense that Elroy knows, since the quiet old man is sharp and intelligent. O’Brien tells himself he will run to Canada, but he silently concludes that he will go to war because he is embarrassed not to.
What is Tim O’Brien doing now?
O’Brien currently holds the Roy F. and Joann Cole Mitte Chair in Creative Writing at Southwest Texas State University. His most recent novel is July, July, published in 2002 by Houghton Mifflin.
Why is Elroy berdahl a hero?
Elroy is mostly silent on the topic of whether Tim should cross the border into Canada or not, but consistently offers opportunities for him to do so. He also serves as a reminder of what a hero can look like to Tim, a quiet but strong man who allows others to make important choices for themselves.
How did O’Brien feel about the war?
The work recounts his personal experience in the Vietnam War and allows him to comment on the war. He enters the war a scared young man afraid of the shame that dodging the war would bring him and leaves the war a guilt-ridden middle-aged man who tells stories about Vietnam in order to cope with his painful memories.
What did Tim O’Brien carry emotionally?
At war, we know that he’s gentle, but carries a thumb that Mitchell Sanders cut off a VC soldier and gave to him. The only other personal thing he carries is a diary. He keeps telling Kiowa to shut up when Kiowa wants to talk about Ted Lavender’s death, but eventually he’s okay with listening.
Why did O’Brien have trouble getting dates that summer?
He worked that summer in a meat packing plant in his hometown of Worthington, Minnesota on an assembly line taking out blood clots from dead pigs’ necks. He couldn’t get dates that summer. He felt isolated. With the draft notice looming, O’Brien spends his days surrounded by death, stinking of death.