How to Tell a True War Story

Topics: English-language films, American films, Soldier Pages: 2 (717 words) Published: February 28, 2013
Negative Effects of War
In “How to Tell a True War Story,” Tim O’Brien presents many themes within his story. One major theme is the negative effects of war on a soldier. Many situations arise in the story that bring out the theme to make it easy to understand for the reader. The effects of war can be very harmful to a soldier’s life, and he or she can be scarred forever.

When Bob Kiley’s friend, Curt Lemon, dies at the beginning of the story, Kiley takes the time to write Lemon’s sister. He wrote about what a good guy Lemon was and the many adventures that he took. Kiley explained that Lemon was a dare devil and a soldier that loved what he did. Bob Kiley did not have to write to his friend’s sister at all, but he did it out of kindness. He poured his heart out into the letter because he wanted his friend’s sister to understand what a great guy he was. O’Brien’s narrator tells the reader that, “[h]e says he loved the guy. He says the guy was his best friend in the world. They were like soul mates, he says, like twins or something, they had a whole lot in common” (O’Brien 347). Kiley went into detail about some events, but he wanted this girl to know everything. He sent the letter and he waited for two months for one in return. She never sent Bob Kiley a letter back and he got upset. The negative effects of war made him go into detail about the story and that may have made the sister not write him. When a soldier sends a letter to someone, all they want is one in return. It makes them feel good when they know someone is at home thinking about them too. War can make a soldier feel alone and having someone to write to can make them feel wanted. Kiley felt alone and used when he did not get a letter in return. He wrote the letter out of kindness and all he wanted was a thank you from the girl. If she would have sent Kiley a letter in return he would have felt better about himself.

When Curt Lemon died, the story portrays his death three different times. Each...
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