fact versus fiction - In Tim OBriens THE THINGS THEY...

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In Tim O’Brien’s THE THINGS THEY CARRIED, the line between fact and fiction is often blurred, but to be honest, as much as book critics and people who read this story may think this is a work of fiction, to an extent, they are very wrong. O’Brien says something very profound yet simultaneously awfully frustrating during his interview with bookreport.com. He says, “A lie, sometimes, can be truer that the truth, which is why fiction gets written.” In THE THINGS THEY CARRIED I certainly do not think that O’Brien was lying about his life when he wrote those 246 pages. A lie, by definition, is an intentionally false statement. It is impossible that all of the things O’Brien wrote, all of the profound emotions that all of his characters have and the detail that he puts into his characters is one hundred percent false. There is no way that a O’Brien could write something as deep and powerful as he does when he talks about his emotions in the chapter “On The Rainy River.” Only someone who truly went through those things, or at least interviewed someone who was drafted and had to actually face the decision of running or running off to war could write something as breathtaking and emotionally accurate as that. Its so easy to walk to one side of the room and say, “Yes I would go off to war,” or say “I would run to Mexico and become a heroine farmer,” and we can all shoot crap off of what we would do in that position and talk about fighting for America or turning your back because you don’t believe in this war but what we cannot do, is impossible for us to do, is what O’Brien did in that chapter without having an absolutely awful amount experience with the issue.
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