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Understanding Irony Through Vietnam

  • Date Submitted: 10/08/2010 10:05 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 62.7 
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Understanding Irony through the history of Vietnam

  How do u tell a true war story? The answer can be found in Tim Obrien's excerpt entitled How to Tell a True War Story. Tim is a credible source to this topic being that he is a war veteran who served in Vietnam from 1968 to 1970. Within his story shocking truths about war are revealed. Explanations about the nature of war and the overall meanings associated with war are expressed throughout by a series of short stories.   According to Tim O’Brien, a true war story is never moral, is unbelievable, and is often times pointless. Without   historical knowledge of knowing how demoralizing and frustrating the Vietnam War was for U.S troops, these statements may appear ironic.
The excerpt begins with Tim as narrator. Throughout the reading, short stories are told from the Vietnam War that either Tim or other soldiers around him have experienced. The focus of the reading is supported by four main stories. No matter how real these stories may seem, Tim cautions the reader on what factors to look for within a true war story. He expresses this by providing key rules along the way. For example, “You can tell a true war story if it embarrasses you".
The first story given is centered around the friendship of two soldiers. It tells of how one is faced with dealing with the loss of another. Rat Kiley is the name of the soldier who is faced with this horrible problem. Rat loses his friend to a booby trapped 105 round, who is later revealed as Curt Lemon. Rat Kiley admires Curt for his unmatched courage and bravery. Curt volunteers for recon missions that nobody else wants, and also keeps the war fun with his goofy spirit. " On Halloween, this real hot spooky night, the dude paints up his body all different colors and puts on this weird mask and goes out on ambush almost stark naked, just boots and balls and an M-16 . A tremendous human being, Rat says." Unfortunately, all that is left are the memories of Curt. The loss is...


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