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Dorothy Allison and Tim O'Briento - Book Report/Review Example

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I have been an avid fan of your work but have lately been disgruntled by the accusations placed upon you of fabricating your work. I have been very torn between supporting your decision to alter reality and blaming you for lying to your loyal readers. This letter is aimed to understand the thin line that separates fact from fiction…
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Dorothy Allison and Tim OBriento
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Download file to see previous pages The opinion of Dorothy Allison on such a statement is contrary to that of you. In her memoir, Two or Three things I know For Sure she states "Behind the story you hear is the one I wish I could make you hear" (39) A line like this is provoking for the reader because it is the motive of every writer to win over their audience. It is true that the story that needs to be written has to be interesting and capture the attention of the reader, but to fabricate facts and claim them to be your own seems a vicious crime. Especially as writers coming from the same genre of non-fiction too have a desire to state facts that will amaze their audience but they deter from fabricating facts. This idea is not one held by one author alone. O'Brien in his memoir If I die in combat, box me up and ship me home, talks of the pain he faced in the Vietnam War. In an unavailable edition of this book, while mentioning his idea of deserting the army before it left for the war O'Brien says "The AWOL bag was ready to go, but I wasn't.... I burned the letters to my family I read the others and burned them, too. It was over. I simply couldn't bring myself to flee. Family, the home town, friends, history, tradition, fear, confusion, exile: I could not run." (Wilber). To an ordinary individual it seems that the true way of dealing with a difficult situation is ensuring that it is deleted from your memory. Personally, I feel this to be more likely than storing sorrow to read and analyze at a later date.

The memoirs of both Allison and O'Brien are very grounded and realistic, making their opinion of a past, more believable. In contrast, if their fictional novels are to be observed the difference in the style and tone of writing is similar but the impact it creates is phenomenally different. In her fictional novel, Bastard out of Carolina, Allison speaks of her heroine's sexual abuse, much similar to that of her own. In it she says "Everything that comes to us is a blessing or a test. That's all you need to know in this lifejust the certainty that God's got His eye on you, that He knows what you are made of, what you need to grow on. Why,questioning's a sin, it's pointless. He will show you your path in His own good time. And long as I remember that, I'm fine." So while the writer makes sure that her character is subjected to the same pain as her own childhood there is also the trace of learning that is harnessed by her experience. Another instance is in his fictional novel The Things They Carried, O'Brien makes his hero write a letter to the sister of his best friend after his death. In it he states "If at the end of a war story you feel uplifted, or if you feel that some small bit of rectitude has been salvaged from the larger waste, then you have been made the victim of a very old and terrible lie."(68). Biographies of O'Brien have made it abundantly clear that this is also his own personal opinion about the war but by putting the words in the mouth of his character he achieves the zenith of what is considered to be a perfected novel. The reality and harshness of war comes across as does the conjecture that it is the statement of a fictional character, leaving no blemish on its writer's opinion. Thus ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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