How To Tell A True War Story Analysis

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Simple Truth or Detailed Exaggeration Have you ever been through a traumatic experience? How did you explain your feelings during it? Did you want the other person to feel the same way you did? A few years ago, a drunk driver ran a red light and crashed into my vehicle. Surviving the accident with no marks, bruises, or scrapes, I had no visible proof of what I had been through. But mentally, I was hysterical, frantic, and upset. My family did not understand my reason for being distraught since I had not sustained any injuries. Wanting them to understand what I had gone through and how I felt, I exaggerated and gave extra details in an attempt to prove that my experience was detrimental and distressing. Tim O’Brien, the author of the short story How to Tell a True War Story, used symbolism and polysyndeton to convey that people often exaggerate after experiencing something profound, emotional, or traumatic in order to communicate unthinkable sensations and feelings. In literary work, symbolism exists to represent larger meanings and to indirectly communicate deeper, …show more content…
The author of How to Tell a True War Story uses this device to emphasize the depth of war. “War is hell,” O’Brien illustrates, “but that’s not the half of it, because war is also mystery and terror and adventure and courage and discovery and holiness and pity and despair and longing and love.” If the author had only written “war is hell,” that sentence’s depth could be lost. Yes, we have all heard war is hell, but because the author elaborated and expressed detail about that statement, the reader could better understand war. When trying to express the overwhelming reality of war, people often embellish the truth in an attempt to convey the feelings, emotions, and heartaches involved in such a rare

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