How to Tell a True War Story - Summary Summary & Analysis

Tim O'Brien
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Summary

The author begins the essay, How to Tell a True War Story, by telling the reader there is no moral in a true war story. The moral is so imbedded within the story that it cannot be isolated. If a person thinks he has found the moral he soon will find that he has only uncovered another aspect of the story. If the war story is true there is no sufficient rebuttal. A war story does not generalize wars, rather it tells a specific story.

For example the common generalization, "war is hell," while a true statement, is not a true war story because it does not excite any emotion. A true war story is known instinctually because it makes a person feel something.

The author introduces a true war story that he has actually experienced. His group is walking toward the mountains. He looks over...

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This section contains 1,894 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the How to Tell a True War Story Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
How to Tell a True War Story from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.