Why the lists in The Things They Carried?

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epollock | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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The many repetitions about the weights, the need to carry things, and Lavender’s death build up a pattern of realism in the story. This sometimes overwhelming detail literally transfers the experience of the men directly to readers, who cannot weigh the things but who nevertheless feel the heaviness of the burdens and also the threat of death that the men face each minute of e very day. The listing of items reveals the theme that emotional baggage is much heavier and places a greater weight on a person that mere physical property. This is central to the story.