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How to Tell a True War Story

what does the story suggest about the nature of serving in war.I also provided the plot of story just in case if you guys would need it. thank you

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How to Tell a True War Story O’Brien prefaces this story by saying that it is true. A week after his friend is killed, Rat Kiley writes a letter to the friend’s sister, explaining what a hero her brother was and how much he loved him. Two months pass, and the sister never writes back. Kiley, frustrated, spits and calls the sister a “dumb cooze.” O’Brien insists that a true war story is not moral and tells us not to believe a story that seems moral. He uses Kiley’s actions as an example of the amorality of war stories. O’Brien reveals that Kiley’s friend’s name was Curt Lemon and that he died while playfully tossing a smoke grenade with Rat Kiley, in the shade of some trees. Lemon stepped into the sunlight and onto a rigged mortar round. O’Brien says sometimes a true war story cannot be believed because some of the most unbearable parts are true, while some of the normal parts are not. Sometimes, he says, a true war story is impossible to tell. He describes a story that Mitchell Sanders tells. Sanders recounts the experience of a troop that goes into the mountains on a listening post operation. He says that after a few days, the men hear strange echoes and music—chimes and xylophones—and become frightened. One night, the men hear voices and noises that sound like a cocktail party. After a while they hear singing and chanting, as well as talking monkeys and trees. They order air strikes and they burn and shoot down everything they can find. Still, in the morning, they hear the noises. So they pack up their gear and head down the mountain, where their colonel asks them what they heard. They have no answer. The day after he tells this story, Mitchell approaches O’Brien and confesses that some parts were invented. O’Brien asks him what the moral of the story is and, listening to the quiet, Sanders says the quiet is the moral. O’Brien says the moral of a true war story, like the thread that makes a cloth, cannot be separated from the story itself. A true war story…


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