The Garden of Evil
In the short, â€œHow to tell a True War Storyâ€ from The Things they Carried (1990), author Tim Oâ€™Brien list of several ways that a reader or listener can tell if a war story is true. His insight suggests that, â€œyou can tell a true war story if it embarrasses youâ€. He sayâ€™s if you send a man to war, heâ€™ll come back talking dirty as evidenced by the letter that Rat sent to Lemonâ€™s sister. But â€œin many cases a true war story cannot be believed. If you believe it, be skeptical. Often the crazy stuff is true and the normal stuff isnâ€™t because the normal stuff is necessary to make you believe the truly incredible craziness.â€ Some war stories, â€œnever seem to endâ€. He goes to discuss how war stories sometimes have no meaning, and if they do, ...view middle of the document...
In war, things happen, and sometimes the recollections of the past are told with no morals or points to be made, just who was involved and what happened to them. Iâ€™ve never been to war, but my father fought in Vietnam, and he doesnâ€™t often like to talk about the war. He says, â€œWar is gruesome, vulgar and saddeningâ€. Of the stories Iâ€™ve extracted from him were some about ambushed platoons, VCâ€™s and Americans dying everywhere, and him losing friends left and right. His stories donâ€™t always have morals; they donâ€™t always make a point,other than how sad he was to lose good men. Iâ€™ve never been embarrassed by any of his stories so I donâ€™t necessarily agree with that statement by Oâ€™Brien.
I think that Lemonâ€™s death is ironic, for the, â€œsilly gameâ€ that Rat and Lemon were playing was with a grenade and that is what, in another form, ended up killing him. Now I read â€œThe Thingâ€™s they Carriedâ€ in high school and I donâ€™t remember if this was talked about more in the story than this chapter, but I do think itâ€™s true. There isnâ€™t really a point to the story. Itâ€™s more that the two soldiers were just trying to have a little fun in a time of darkness, and Lemon Got â€œLit Upâ€. It fits the crazy, twisted category of war when Norman Bowker starts singing â€œLemon Treeâ€ after Lemonâ€™s Death.
In the last Paragraph of the story, Oâ€™Brien writes, â€œIn the end of course, a true war story is never about war. Itâ€™s about the special way that dawn spreads out on a river and when you know you must cross the river and march into the mountains and do things you are afraid to do. Itâ€™s about love and memory. Itâ€™s about sorrow. Itâ€™s about sisters who never write back and people who never listen.â€ I agree most with this final statement. A True War Story depicts what had to be done, those who were lost and the lives of people who lived on.