Robert E. Simmons, Jr.
Expository Writing Assignment #1
January 29, 2007
Truth, the “Real” Way: My Way
Perception is reality and reality is the truth.
One’s perception is based on his or her’s
sight, sound, and cognition.
Such a statement can be deemed objective, being that truth is
formulated by what one sees, hears, and thinks.
In Tim O’Brien’s narrative “How to Tell a True
War Story”, the main character designs a “memoir-type” story that focuses on human perception
of what the truth is.
While it seems that the meaning of the story is found in the events of the
story, O’Brien has used the language of the story and the events of the story as a way to make a
Thus, this writing speaks more to the element of war than to the events laid out
in this story about war.
The meaning, or purpose, of this story is to question the truths behind the
truth of war itself.
Discovering the meaning of a text, especially the one in question, requires
one to be sensitive to perception.
This search for a deeper understanding demands an ability to
be open-eared, open-eyed, and open-minded. Moreover, revealing the true meaning of a text
calls for an understanding of the structure, or form, of the text.
, perception and
form are relative in that the form (or structural meaning) and the perception of a story aids
in the creating of one’s position
In other words,
based on one’s own visual, auditory, and
cognition of something
, one can formulate one’s own position of a situation or idea.
In order to understand that this story is about finding the “truth within the truth”, one
needs to take time to analyze the true meaning of the words in the text.
The struggle in reading a
story for understanding the deeper meaning of the story, it is imperative that one understands the
difference between the truth and the final truth.
“[I]f I could ever get the story right…if I could
somehow re-create…the obvious cause and effect, then you would believe” it as “the final truth.”