Obrian Essay Looking at War

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  • Topic: Lie, Truth, Narrative
  • Pages : 4 (1579 words )
  • Download(s) : 1842
  • Published : October 22, 2010
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Olivia Cousins
Roosevelt
English 101
Essay 02
Lies are complicated things. They can range from a little white lie to lies which can create a web of deception that can produce a noose that chokes you, binding you very move you make. However, the nature of a lie is dependent on the individual who tells it. For example, the retelling of events is often skewed because of personal perspectives. As Mr. O’Brien states, a true war story is never believable. One example is Sanders’ story about a six man patrol group. Sanders tells, how while on patrol, the men were not allowed to make a sound. They were supposed to be silent as death itself. They were camouflaged in a bush for seven straight days, and had to be invisible. Mr. Sanders describes how spooky this seemed because the patrol took place in a mountain jungle with a fog that was so thick, “you can’t find your own pecker to piss with” (72). Within this silence, sound seemingly carries forever. After a few days, the patrol members started to hear sounds that seemed like voices at a cocktail party, a glee club, and even an opera. Later, Sanders says to the narrator that he had lied about the man hearing the glee club and the opera, but that he had done so because otherwise the author would not have believed him. The narrator then asks, “Alright… what’s the moral?” (77), to which Sanders replies, after a long stretching silence, “Hear that quiet man... That quiet- just listen. There’s your moral” (77). It’s almost as though you have to lie to make the reality bearable because in silence even the most logical men could go insane. Can there be a moral in a true war story? O’Brien argues “in a true war story, if there’s a moral at all, its like the thread that makes the cloth. You can’t tease it out. You can’t extract the meaning without unraveling the deeper morning. And in the end, really, there’s nothing much to say about a true war story, except maybe ‘Oh’.” (77) In the...
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