5 April 2013
“At your age, I had to walk ten miles to my school” a father once said trying to prove a point to his child. Most people have come across this moment in their life when their parent is telling some story about their childhood trying to express a truth. To the parent, they understand perfectly what truth they are trying to get across to their child. Meanwhile, they do not understand why the child does not understand. On the other hand, the child has no clue why the father walked to school instead of taking a bus or another form of transportation. For all the kid knows, the parents could be lying to them or making this story up. Since they were not there with their parents when their parents were in school, they have no idea if they are telling the truth or not. In other words, Tim O’Brien violates the premises of sequence and objectivity in the Lemon’s death, and the Sanders noises episodes.
When telling a story about the cool thing that happened at school or how one beat that guy up, straight forwardness and honesty are often, if not always, disarrayed. When reiterating a story back to someone, the storyteller tends to rely on their inner experience rather than tell what actually happened. In “How to Tell A True War Story,” the narrators friend/fellow soldier, Rat Kiley, deals with this situation after his friend, Curt Lemon, dies. Kiley decides to write a condoling letter to Lemon’s sister trying to make sure she knows he is there for her. In the letter, Kiley, starts telling her how great friends Lemon and he was with one another. Kiley goes on and on about how they were great friends. He fails to include the arguments and the bad in their relationship. He is not straight forward in his letter to Lemon’s sister. Kiley was very sincere and caring in the letter but he knew that Lemon’s sister was not there in Vietnam with them and he knew that the truth to her would be whatever he told her. In the...