An analysis of the short story “How to Tell a True War Story” by Tim O’Brien shows that the narrative has a fragmented structure that is based around the experiences of soldiers in the Vietnam War

The story introduces several characters including the narrator, Bob Kiley, Curt Lemon, and Mitchell Sanders. Several other platoon members are mentioned in the story.

The story’s physical setting is Vietnam, where the characters fight in the Vietnam War. When it comes to the social setting, the story focuses on the psychological consequences of war, including issues like trauma and post-traumatic stress syndrome, and adapting to life after war. 

The events are told by Tim O’Brien, who is both the narrator and the main character. In the narrator’s stories, other characters – like Mitchell Sanders – become narrators in turn. 

The story mainly contains technical language connected to the military, which gives the text an authentic feel. The language the narrator uses is a mix between formal and informal, with the informal features giving the impression that the narrator is having a conversation with the readers.

A full analysis of the short story can be found on the following pages. 

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