Essay 2 - Wyn Gannon The Experience of Literature November...

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Wyn Gannon The Experience of Literature November 8, 2008 Tim O’Brien’s “True War Stories” Tim O’Brien’s book, The Things They Carried , is an aggregation of short stories. The content in all of them is related to the Vietnam War, and one overall theme is that is seen throughout the stories is that, “War is Hell.” O’Brien writes these stories in a way that seem real; however, he claims that every story is a work of nonfiction. Some have even considered his stories as “truer than truth,” or truer than fiction (O’Brien 89). This is described in an article by Tina Chen: O'Brien singles out the type of reaction his stories should provoke: "It comes down to gut instinct. A true war story, if truly told, makes the stomach believe" (84). . . a true war story "never seems to end" (83) but can only be told and retold, different each time yet no less faithful to the truths it must convey. (Chen) The main story that is under discussion is “The Man I Killed.” This story will be compared to two different short stories from The Things They Carried : “The Things They Carried,” and “Ambush.” Tim O’Brien also exposes his ambiguities and reinforces his underlying theme of “War is Hell” within the shared themes between “The Man I Killed” and each of the other short stories. “The Man I Killed” is a very descriptive short story where Tim O’Brien acts as the first-person narrator. He goes into detail about a man who he has just killed. His detail is very explicit, to the point of being graphic. “His jaw was in his throat, his upper lip and
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This note was uploaded on 10/02/2011 for the course ENGLISH 2030 taught by Professor Henry during the Fall '08 term at University of Tennessee.

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Essay 2 - Wyn Gannon The Experience of Literature November...

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