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The Garden Of Evil Essay

656 words - 3 pages

Stephen Moore
3-24-2010
The Garden of Evil
In the short, “How to tell a True War Story” from The Things they Carried (1990), author Tim O’Brien list of several ways that a reader or listener can tell if a war story is true. His insight suggests that, “you can tell a true war story if it embarrasses you”. He say’s if you send a man to war, he’ll come back talking dirty as evidenced by the letter that Rat sent to Lemon’s sister. But “in 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 isn’t because the normal stuff is necessary to make you believe the truly incredible craziness.” Some war stories, “never seem to end”. 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. I’ve never been to war, but my father fought in Vietnam, and he doesn’t often like to talk about the war. He says, “War is gruesome, vulgar and saddening”. Of the stories I’ve extracted from him were some about ambushed platoons, VC’s and Americans dying everywhere, and him losing friends left and right. His stories don’t always have morals; they don’t always make a point,other than how sad he was to lose good men. I’ve never been embarrassed by any of his stories so I don’t necessarily agree with that statement by O’Brien.
I think that Lemon’s death is ironic, for the, “silly game” that Rat and Lemon were playing was with a grenade and that is what, in another form, ended up killing him. Now I read “The Thing’s they Carried” in high school and I don’t remember if this was talked about more in the story than this chapter, but I do think it’s true. There isn’t really a point to the story. It’s more that the two soldiers were just trying to have a little fun in a time of darkness, and Lemon Got “Lit Up”. It fits the crazy, twisted category of war when Norman Bowker starts singing “Lemon Tree” after Lemon’s Death.
In the last Paragraph of the story, O’Brien writes, “In the end of course, a true war story is never about war. It’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. It’s about love and memory. It’s about sorrow. It’s about sisters who never write back and people who never listen.” 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.

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