Sample Essay

Tim O’Brien’s story is a creative admixture of reality and fiction. The author sets the both aspects in contrast in a way that it is difficult to identify where the boundaries of fiction are blurred and the real experience and feelings of the author creeps in. The story was based on the real experience of the author, who is also the narrator of the tale, in Vietnam.

Although the critics have found evidences of autobiographical elements in the story but the author, Tim O’Brien has denounced the any association with the real story and claims his dissociation with the events of the story. In the title page he gives the story the status of a fictitious work. He dedicates the book to the men of the Alpha company including Jim Cross, Henry Dobbins, Mitchell Sanders, Norman Bowker and some others. O’Brien was a part of the Alpha company and that has made some literary analysts to think that the story must be O’Bien’s own story which he presents through the characters in the story but O’Brien denies the fact and says firmly in his interviews that although he has used the non-fiction elements in the story to make it appear more real, the story is based on fictitious in each line of the book. If O’Brien’s claim is accepted it must be said that the real mastery lies in the fact that O’Brien is found in the book as a silent observer and the reporter of the events without making his presence evident or superior over the central character, Jim Cross.

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