Characterization of the narrator


The narrator is the main character of the short story “How to Tell a True War Story” by Tim O’Brien. The narrator’s character is semi-autobiographical and his experiences are inspired by what the narrator witnessed in the Vietnam War.

The story does not provide much information about the narrator’s outer characterization. The narrative reveals that the narrator was a soldier in the Vietnam War and that the events he recalls have happened “twenty years ago” (p. 2, l. 22), when he was in his twenties. There is a hint that the narrator might be currently married (p. 7, l. 25).

When it comes to the narrator’s inner characterization, the narrative reveals that he is a storyteller. The text is a selection of stories that the narrator tells readers about his experience in the war or stories that he heard from others. Each story is followed by the narrator’s insights about the meaning of war and the characteristics of a war story, a feature that hints at his analytical character. 

After each story, the narrator tries to analyze what a war story truly means and, implicitly, to come to terms with the trauma he has experien...

The text shown above is just an extract. Only members can read the full content.

Get access to the full Study Guide.

As a member of PrimeStudyGuides.com, you get access to all of the content.

Sign up now

Already a member? Log in