I can make myself feel again (O'Brien, p. 180).

And, through story truth, what the story is able to do for O'Brien, it becomes able also to do for the reader.

In "The Lives of the Dead," O'Brien further elaborates on his need for stories universally. Through make-believe -- imagination, stories, fiction -- O'Brien finds that he can not only resurrect the dead but also lay a barrier between himself and death. His response to the death of Linda is a retreat into imagination, just as the response of the soldiers of Alpha Company to the corpse of the old man by the pig pen is to engage in an elaborate game of make-believe: "It was more than mockery" (O'Brien, p.227). O'Brien's distress as the bizarre ritual unfolds is related to his inability to participate in the imaginative fiction occurring, through which the other soldiers cope. "It was my fourth...
[ View Full Essay]