How to Tell a True War Story Essay

Tim O'Brien
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Andrews Henningfeld is an associate professor at Adrian College in Adrian, Michigan, where she teaches literature and writing. She holds a Ph.D. in literature, and regularly writes book reviews, historical articles, and literary criticism for a wide variety of educational publishers. In the following essay, Andrews Henningfeld uses deconstructive literary criticism to examine the ways in which Tim O'Brien simultaneously searches for truth and undermines that quest in his story.

Tim O'Brien was already a successful writer by the time he penned "How to Tell a True War Story" in 1987. In particular, critics had praised his previous novel, Going After Cacciato, for which O'Brien won a National Book Award. This novel opens many of the themes that O'Brien would later explore in The Things They Carried, and particularly in "How to Tell a True War Story." O'Brien frequently returns to the same themes again and again: truth...

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This section contains 1,895 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the How to Tell a True War Story Study Guide
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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.