How to Tell a True War Story Questions and Answers
by Tim O’Brien

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What can be a said about Time as a symbol for the story?

We could say a lot about how time is used as a symbol in Tim O'Brien's "How to Tell a True War Story". We might talk about how time symbolizes the power of memory. It's been 20 years, yet O'Brien still remembers specific details. Conversely, we could talk about how time symbolizes the human impulse to fudge aspects of supposedly true stories. We could also talk about how time symbolizes the reader's isolation from O'Brien's experiences and culture.

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A lot can be said for how time functions as a symbol throughout Tim O'Brien's short story "How to Tell a True War Story".

Remember, when we talk about symbols, we can sometimes get into tricky, convoluted territory. Sometimes what we think is a symbol isn't a symbol at all. Sometimes a symbol links to one specific idea or theme. On other occasions, it connects to an array of ideas and themes. With O'Brien’s story, we think of time as a symbol that links to an array of ideas and themes.

One main idea is the power of memory. Remember, O'Brien is telling us these war stories "twenty years...

(The entire section contains 318 words.)

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