The Things They Carried Questions and Answers

The Things They Carried

Author Tim O’Brien’s purpose in writing his book The Things They Carried is to use the genre of fiction to explore the harsh realities of war and communicate them to a wider audience. O’Brien did...

Latest answer posted December 10, 2019, 4:48 am (UTC)

4 educator answers

The Things They Carried

The Greenies are an elite force of Army soldiers known as the Green Berets. They are a special forces group of men known for their abilities to engage the enemy in guerrilla warfare and to search...

Latest answer posted December 23, 2015, 12:24 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Things They Carried

I would want to start off by talking about the author's impression of the war from which he was fleeing. Although he was, by his own account, politically naive, at the same time, he had severe...

Latest answer posted September 27, 2011, 7:49 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Things They Carried

Tim works in a meatpacking plant during the summer of 1968. He keeps his draft notice tucked away and does a great deal of soul-searching that summer in deciding whether to go to war or run away to...

Latest answer posted June 30, 2019, 1:31 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Things They Carried

When most people think about the idea of going to war, it is something with which they associate courage and bravery; alternately, people who run from or refuse to go to war are perceived as...

Latest answer posted May 5, 2020, 1:26 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Things They Carried

The collection of linked short stories The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien tells of a platoon of soldiers during the Vietnam War. In the title short story, "The Things They Carried," O'Brien...

Latest answer posted September 17, 2019, 2:52 am (UTC)

3 educator answers

The Things They Carried

At the beginning of "How to Tell a True War Story," Rat Kiley writes to the sister of his friend, Curt Lemon, who has just been killed in Vietnam. Kiley writes at length about what a fantastic...

Latest answer posted November 8, 2020, 12:11 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Things They Carried

In the linked series of fictionalized stories about his experiences during the Vietnam War The Things They Carried, author Tim O'Brien tells of Jim Cross's infatuation with Martha in the first...

Latest answer posted May 21, 2020, 2:59 pm (UTC)

5 educator answers

The Things They Carried

Kiowa is undoubtedly sad at the death of Ted Lavender. But he expresses his emotions differently from that of the rest of the platoon. As well as sighing and shaking his head, he recounts the tale...

Latest answer posted May 13, 2020, 7:57 am (UTC)

5 educator answers

The Things They Carried

I believe this is a good quote to symbolize the tragedy of PTSD. The author deals with this a lot in The Things They Carried. But the symptom that most people know is that a person who has suffered...

Latest answer posted February 10, 2019, 8:49 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Things They Carried

In "On the Rainy River," Tim O'Brien tells of a young man just out of college who receives a draft notice to serve in the Army. Although the narrator has the name of "O'Brien," it's a fictional...

Latest answer posted April 4, 2019, 5:53 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Things They Carried

Throughout "Spin," O'Brien attempts to portray the lighter side of war while simultaneously examining the inconsistent, violent nature of conflict. O'Brien begins the chapter by saying, "The war...

Latest answer posted July 20, 2017, 1:59 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Things They Carried

I think he means that the war can be perceived in many different ways. The Things They Carried regularly shows various and even contradictory sides of the war, as well as the perspectives of...

Latest answer posted August 29, 2018, 9:42 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Things They Carried

Ted Lavender adopts an orphan puppy. He carries it around in his rucksack and feeds it with a plastic spoon. But the bond that develops between Ted and his puppy ends when Azar straps the poor...

Latest answer posted November 8, 2020, 11:56 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Things They Carried

According to the text, the platoon is scheduled to blow up an elaborate system of tunnels the Viet Cong utilizes in the Than Khe area. For the mission, each man in the platoon carries four blocks...

Latest answer posted March 9, 2018, 4:36 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Things They Carried

Elroy Berdhal appears in the fourth chapter of The Things They Carried, “On the Rainy River.” He plays an important, though very subtly expressed, role in helping Tim O’Brien decide what to do...

Latest answer posted May 24, 2021, 4:34 am (UTC)

3 educator answers

The Things They Carried

In Tim O'Brien's story, the "things" are both concrete and abstract. All the men in the platoon serving in Vietnam carry numerous physical objects as well as bear various emotional burdens. Grief,...

Latest answer posted May 12, 2020, 9:11 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

The Things They Carried

After Ted Lavender is killed, Lieutenant Jimmy Cross burns the letters he carries from a girl named Martha back home. Jimmy Cross feels that the letters have made him less aware of what has been...

Latest answer posted February 1, 2018, 1:24 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Things They Carried

The taking of the Vietnamese soldier’s thumb as a souvenir of war shows how war changes young men into uncivilized human beings. When Sanders is making the statement, “There it is”, he is talking...

Latest answer posted February 21, 2016, 11:49 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Things They Carried

The death of Ted Lavender serves a structural purpose in the story’s plot. Through relating the killing of one member of the company, author Tim O’Brien shows how all the unit’s other members...

Latest answer posted June 20, 2020, 7:05 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

The Things They Carried

Glad to help.

Latest answer posted April 12, 2012, 7:21 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Things They Carried

It is hard to tell a true war story because it is impossible to accurately capture all of the things that war actually is. O'Brien says that a "true war story is never moral. It does not instruct...

Latest answer posted May 2, 2020, 2:04 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Things They Carried

O'Brien writes of the soldiers, "they were afraid of dying but they were even more afraid to show it." The soldiers are afraid to appear weak or vulnerable in the face of gunfire and potential...

Latest answer posted July 22, 2017, 10:26 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Things They Carried

In "The Man I Killed," Tim O'Brien, who portrays a fictionalized version of himself, describes the dead body of a Vietnamese soldier in great detail and writes about his own sensations after...

Latest answer posted November 9, 2020, 11:52 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Things They Carried

In the chapter "On the Rainy River," Tim describes how he decided to ultimately go to war in Vietnam. He was drafted, but it was a war he did not believe in (in fact, he wrote student newspaper...

Latest answer posted May 3, 2020, 12:37 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Things They Carried

In The Things They Carried, the men disguise their fear of death by using slang to refer to it, saying that a fellow soldier has been offed, lit up, or zapped while zipping. O'Brien also recalls...

Latest answer posted September 21, 2020, 1:07 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Things They Carried

Here is a list from the first chapter: mosquito repellent, marijuana, pocket knives, chewing gum, a girlfriend’s pantyhose, marijuana, tranquilizers, the New Testament, a compress in case of fatal...

Latest answer posted February 7, 2008, 2:57 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Things They Carried

As with all kinds of candy, M&Ms does not have any medical properties but can have what is called a placebo effect. This means that they can make people feel better without in any way affecting...

Latest answer posted November 8, 2020, 11:27 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Things They Carried

The young monk in the chapter "Church" makes a mysterious washing motion with his hands. The soldiers encounter an abandoned pagoda where the monks live in a tar paper shack and tend to their...

Latest answer posted December 25, 2016, 3:07 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Things They Carried

In a sense, when O'Brien says that each soldier carries "ghosts," he is not referring to any specific and identifiable thing or person. He's talking about the war itself, which has become a kind...

Latest answer posted November 12, 2013, 6:32 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Things They Carried

Imagery is comprised of descriptions of information that appeals to our senses; as such, it can be visual (sight), olfactory (smell), tactile (touch), gustatory (taste), and auditory (hearing). The...

Latest answer posted May 4, 2020, 9:02 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Things They Carried

Bob "Rat" Kiley is the medic of Alpha Company, the platoon of American soldiers in the Vietnam War in Tim O'Brien's 1990 short story collection, The Things They Carried. The narrator—a fictional...

Latest answer posted November 7, 2020, 3:38 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Things They Carried

In part, his inclusion of this experience is in keeping with the nature of the book as part memoir. Yes, it reveals some private aspects of his character to help us understand him better, but even...

Latest answer posted April 23, 2018, 5:21 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

The Things They Carried

In Tim O'Brien's short story "On the Rainy River," the narrator, also named Tim O'Brien, receives a draft notice to serve in Vietnam during the summer of 1968. He has been moderately opposed to the...

Latest answer posted November 22, 2017, 2:14 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Things They Carried

In Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried, there is no shortage of symbols: the talismans that many troops carry symbolize the hope for survival and luck; the enemy is a collective emblem of death;...

Latest answer posted November 30, 2019, 5:51 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

The Things They Carried

The narrator of The Things They Carried, author Tim O'Brien, does not really feel much sorrow about Curt Lemon's death, so he tells a story about him instead. Curt Lemon was not afraid at all of...

Latest answer posted September 18, 2013, 7:27 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Things They Carried

The opening chapter of Tim O'Brien's novel The Things They Carried is an exhaustive list of the items carried by a small group of American soldiers in Vietnam. Amidst a litany of weapons and...

Latest answer posted July 14, 2019, 1:22 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

The Things They Carried

Shame is a central force that both arises from war and drives it. In listing the things that the soldiers carried, Tim O'Brien writes that the "soldier's greatest fear" is the fear of...

Latest answer posted December 21, 2019, 3:08 am (UTC)

5 educator answers

The Things They Carried

As we ponder Lieutenant Cross's personal war experience, we are led to question his obsession with Martha. Even though Cross suspects that Martha's affection for him may well be illusory, he...

Latest answer posted September 15, 2017, 9:35 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

The Things They Carried

Henry Dobbins carries the M60 machine gun, extra ammunition, canned peaches (which he's very fond of) and his girlfriend's pantyhose. The simplicity of his load, compared to the other men, is...

Latest answer posted November 17, 2013, 9:19 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Things They Carried

Examples of these techniques are ubiquitous in The Things They Carried. What might help would be to narrow down to a particular story. For example, "On the Rainy River" is a particularly strong...

Latest answer posted June 30, 2010, 12:59 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Things They Carried

Tim O’Brien’s autobiographical novel The Things They Carried has a Native American character named Kiowa. O’Brien doesn’t tell us a whole lot about what Kiowa carries with him in the war, but what...

Latest answer posted May 19, 2015, 12:59 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Things They Carried

"On the Rainy River" is a chapter in The Things They Carried in which Tim O'Brien explores his military draft and subsequent decision to fight in Vietnam as opposed to fleeing to Canada. As so many...

Latest answer posted June 12, 2018, 2:16 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Things They Carried

The primary themes of “The Lives of the Dead” are humor, resurrection, and storytelling. When O’Brien encounters the old man, dead in a pigpen, he “hadn’t yet developed a sense of humor” about the...

Latest answer posted September 20, 2018, 9:33 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Things They Carried

In this chapter, the men on patrol in Vietnam have just witnessed the death of Curt Lemon, who steps on a round of live ammunition. In an act of symbolic retribution, Rat Kiley kills a baby water...

Latest answer posted May 9, 2016, 11:04 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Things They Carried

"Truth goose" is a created phrase by Tim O'Brien that is partly American slang. It was used by the author of The Things They Carried, a work of fiction that is a collection of tales about his...

Latest answer posted June 7, 2015, 4:01 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Things They Carried

In the emotional story of “The Man I Killed” in The Things They Carried, O’Brien describes the first man he kills in the war. It is a terrifying time for O’Brien as he watches the dead body of the...

Latest answer posted December 27, 2015, 3:00 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Things They Carried

In "The Things They Carried", the baby water buffalo undergoes a significantly more traumatic experience than Curt Lemon. One of the unspoken points of the text is that Curt Lemon signed up to...

Latest answer posted May 14, 2019, 2:11 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

The Things They Carried

O'Brien's The Things They Carried addresses the purposes of storytelling and fiction to convey multiple, seemingly conflicting truths. The Vietnam war was the first war ever reported on using...

Latest answer posted October 24, 2017, 2:23 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Things They Carried

In the chapter titled “On the Rainy River” from his book The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien composes an extremely long paragraph. This paragraph begins with the sentence “At the rear of the boat...

Latest answer posted January 30, 2012, 12:17 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

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