The Things They Carried is an excellent book for developing a thesis around. There are so many levels and nuances to the novel and its characters that you will have no issue coming up with a thesis to defend. I'll first start in how to go about developing a thesis,...
The Things They Carried is an excellent book for developing a thesis around. There are so many levels and nuances to the novel and its characters that you will have no issue coming up with a thesis to defend. I'll first start in how to go about developing a thesis, and then I will give you an arguable thesis idea related to Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried.
The mistake a lot of people make when developing a thesis is that they make their thesis too broad in scope. It is important to focus on a specific idea and then defend it. A thesis is like an argument. You put up your argument and then you use facts to support that argument. If you try and make the thesis statement too broad, it is too difficult to defend because your argument is stretched too thin.
A good argument that has a solid focus for The Things They Carried could be this thesis: "Tim O'Brien's work, The Things They Carried, argues that there are things we will never know about one another; there are things we carry that will always remain hidden and unseen."
A solid support to this argument is the character of Norman Bowker, who is unable to talk about the war after he comes home, yet on the inside, it is destroying him. Another solid support is the story within the book entitled, "The Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong." In the story, there is a soldier's childhood girlfriend who shows up to Vietnam to spend time with him. She eventually falls in love with Vietnam and joins the special forces there, and she begins killing Viet Cong soldiers behind enemy lines. This idea that she was someone whose depths could never be understood by anyone else again highlights that inherent theme to these stories—there are things we carry that will always remain unseen and are ours to bear.