1) goal of the flashlight incident but

While reading “The Man I Killed” I felt
that O’Brien makes us understand that the people dyeing is a lot more complex
than one death, it is a story or an impact on another person’s life you are
taking away. You cannot predict what someone can achieve because all
possibilities in one person’s life are infinite, “His life was now a
constellation of possibilities.” (O’Brien 122). Every death in the book has a
person or idea to blame: Cross was blamed for Ted’s death, “He hated himself.
He had loved Martha more than his men, and as a consequence Lavender was now
dead.” (O’Brien 116), Kiowa’s death was on the younger soldier, “The flashlight
made it happen. Dumb and dangerous. And as a result, his friend Kiowa was
dead.” (O’Brien 163). Kiowa getting shot was never the intended goal of the
flashlight incident but it did happen. The death causes a loss with infinite
possibilities and removes the possibility that they can positively affect
another person’s life.

Accuracy is important when the purpose of
the story is to inform, if the purpose is to entertain it would be perfectly
fine but the author must say the fictional nature of the story. Every story
causes a different feel to every reader because we all have different
experiences and opinions. “It wasn’t a war story. It was a love story.”
(O’Brien 81). Kiley and the baby buffalo; a story to belittle the person
listening to the story because of the misunderstanding of it being literal than
metaphorical.  The baby buffalo explains
to us how shocked Kiley was by the loss of his close friends so suddenly. O’Brien
creates his story to get the point across to the audience, lying and adding
things that did not happen just to affect our emotions is smart but not very
good towards his credibility in the book. The fact that he is lying creates a
void and stops us from believing in the writer in the future.

 In “On the Rainy River” he stated that
was just not right and his service is an act of cowardice, “I was drafted to
fight a war I hated. I was twenty-one years old. Young, yes, and politically
naïve, but even so the American was in Vietnam seemed to me wrong.” (O’Brien
38). The government is using these young and naïve kids to fight in the war and
it is just not right. If you do not appreciate your country or you don’t go to
war when the country needs you the most a lot of people will talk badly about
you and everyone you love. It is a giant scheme to force people into going to
war because they will not be seen as patriotic if they choose not to go, “I did
not want people to think badly of me. Not my parents, not my brother and
sister, not even the folks down at the Gobbler Café.” (O’Brien 49). The
motivation of O’Brien in the book is not very good because he didn’t even want
to go in the first place, he just went to keep his family name’s image
patriotic. He was forced to go with society instead of choosing what he wants.

The Man I Killed” is a perfect case for Story-Truth because throughout the
entire chapter O’Brien shows us a gory scene of a dead body next to a tree.
“The upper lip and gum and teeth were gone. The man’s head was cocked at a
wrong angle as if loose at the neck.” (O’Brien 121). This very vivid and
disturbing portrayal of this dead man proves a much deeper and better
understanding of the text. O’Brien creates his own story for the man he killed
to humanize him to himself and the reader. He proceeds to elaborate on the
fictional personality that the dead man never wanted violence and he was more
of a scholar than a soldier. O’Brien had sympathized with the dead man and he
believes that they are just like each other and share the same feeling of not
wanting to be with the violence but they must in order to be accepted by
everyone. When O’Brien writes through his own views and not from a third person
he creates a bias that it is hard to see but more experienced readers can

“The Lives of the Dead” creates a sense of innocence by making a situation on
the death of Ted Lavender. The pun that Sanders makes about Lavender’s dead
body going to be “taken up high and cool. Gonna relax you. Gonna alter your
whole perspective on this sorry shit.” (O’Brien 219). Lavenders disappearance
ignores the very rough reality, this makes us feel like he is not gone he is
just in another place. It very much understates death and the fear of it to
just moving on to another life and the past is gone. “how tranquil he was, how it
wasn’t the bullet but the tranquilizers that blew his mind. He wasn’t dead just
laidback.” (O’Brien 226). This makes us feel that he wasn’t murdered in a
gruesome and disgusting way but just relaxed and asleep in a tranquil way. The
way Kiley told the story about curt lemon you would have never known that Lemon
had actually died. He was still out there, trick or treating. How the surviving
victims of the Vietnam war keep their friends in their mind because they cant
let go and they cant handle the truth that they are gone forever. Military men
are usually known as strong and older men who can handle anything that is
thrown at them but in actuality it is young men who are naïve and don’t know
what happened at war and they are scarred for life after the attack on their
mental state.