The Things They Carried Questions and Answers
by Tim O’Brien

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In "The Things They Carried," how many different time periods are described?

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You have done well to notice the way that time is used in this chaotic narrative full of turmoil, which of course mirrors the disorientation of the soldiers and particularly of Jimmy Cross, who feels so responsible for the death of Lavender. We can helpfully group the different time periods into four separate groups: before the war and their arrival in Vietnam, before Lavender's death, Lavender's death and after Lavender's death. Of course, memories and...

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