Monday, January 24, 2011

False Truth

As we all know, from The Truth About Lying, O’Brian’s stories are not all true. He used twenty-two pages of made up actions to convey the emotions he felt when he was drafted. The poor young man entered his own personal war just as bad as the one he was about to unwillingly attend. We know that he never actually went to Canada or the Rainy River, but on page fifty-two we find out why he told us he did. He “slipped out of his skin”. Imagine yourself at age twenty-one with every opportunity in the world for the taking then out of nowhere all those dreams are gone and your future is completely out of your hands. During the time before he went to Vietnam his personal hell drove him to an alternate reality. O’Brian created Canada as a way of escaping the constant reminder that any day he could be sent to another country. Even though the fishing trip did not exist, the pain described on the boat was true. In order for us as a reader to fully understand and feel that pain, O’Brian needed to place us on that boat with him and give us the opportunity to choose what was best, embarrassment or war.

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