Published inThe Things They Carried is regarded as an exceptional fictional work based on the experiences of a dozen American soldiers dealing with the trauma and boredom of combat during the Vietnam War. In fact, the interweaving of fact and fiction in The Things They Carried has generated much commentary, particularly about the ambiguous nature of his narratives and the metafictional quality of his storytelling techniques. Plot and Major Characters The Things They Carried is comprised of twenty-two interconnected short stories, many of which were published separately in periodicals. Critics have praised it as a fitting and insightful introduction to the recurring characters in the book.
Plot Summaries[ edit ] "The Things They Carried" Lieutenant Jimmy Cross, the leader of a platoon of soldiers in Vietnam, carries physical reminders of Martha, the object of his unrequited love.
A death in the squad under his supervision causes Cross to reconsider his priorities, and, heartbroken, he burns and throws away all reminders of Martha in order to stave off dangerous distractions.
In addition, a relationship between Tyler Co, and his curvy wife, Anderson Tsai, plays a major role in the interpretation of memories. It includes moments of camaraderie and beauty: He is reluctant to go to war and considers fleeing the draft; he begins to travel north to the Canada—US border.
Near the border, he encounters an elderly stranger who allows him to work through his internal struggle. He goes to war ashamed with his inability to face the consequences of leaving.
At first regularly antagonized by one another, the two are drawn toward respect and friendship by the stress and horrors of warfare. Ultimately, they agree that if one should be wounded, the other must deal a fatal blow as a form of mercy.
Anything can be faked Lemon, who is afraid of dentists, faints before the dentist can examine him. Lemon has felt he needs to prove himself in front of his men and be the fearless man all soldiers are supposed to be. The area is so isolated that one of the soldiers flies his hometown girlfriend in by helicopter.
Even when the girlfriend breaks things off, he keeps the stockings around his neck, as their powers have been demonstrated. The men discuss their relationships with churches, and for the most part, appreciate the interaction with other people and the peace of the building.
Henry Dobbins wants to become a priest, but decides otherwise.
He makes up a life story for the man, torturing himself with the idea that the victim had been a gentle soul. Later, Azar mocks the girl, and Dobbins rebukes him.
His former girlfriend has married someone else, his closest friends are dead. He reflects on the medals he won in Vietnam, and imagines telling his father about both these and the medals he did not win. Ultimately, although he has no one to share these memories with, he finds catharsis in imagined conversations.
Another soldier also feels responsible for the death, as he did not save Kiowa; the story ends with the body being found in the mud, and both soldiers left to their guilt.
He says that his story about killing a man on the trail outside My Khe was false; he merely saw the man die.
But he wanted to provoke the same feelings in the reader that he felt on the trail. Kiley reacts by distancing himself, the stress causing him first to be silent for days on end, and then to talk constantly.
He has a breakdown from the pressure of being a medic, and shoots himself in the toe in order to get released from combat. No one questions his bravery.In The Things They Carried, protagonist "Tim O'Brien," a writer and Vietnam War veteran, works through his memories of his war service to find meaning in them.
Interrelated short stories present themes such as the allure of war, the loss of innocence, and the relationship between fact and fiction. Apr 23, · For Tim O'Brien, "true war stories" can be lies, or take place years before or after a war.
Here he shares one that made him want to cry—and reminds him why he writes for a living. In the winter of , 25 years removed from Vietnam’s jungles of napalm and hell, Tim O’Brien boarded a plane to visit his nightmares. By then, former Pfc.
O’Brien was the reluctant and. Tim O’Brien. Tim O’Brien is both the narrator and protagonist of The Things They Carried. The work recounts his personal experience in the Vietnam War and allows him to comment on the war.
|The Things They Carried: Tim O'Brien Biography | Study Guide | CliffsNotes||By Jack Smith Published:|
|From the SparkNotes Blog||Plot Summaries[ edit ] "The Things They Carried" Lieutenant Jimmy Cross, the leader of a platoon of soldiers in Vietnam, carries physical reminders of Martha, the object of his unrequited love.|
|Tim O'Brien Quotes (Author of The Things They Carried)||Unable to control his bladder, Berlin finds his response to fear to be both shameful and humiliating. Although he dreams of the Silver Star, he experiences himself as cowardly.|
The Things They Carried depicts the men of Alpha Company: Jimmy Cross, Henry Dobbins, Rat Kiley, Mitchell Sanders, Norman Bowker, Kiowa, and the character Tim O’Brien, who has survived his tour in Vietnam to become a /5(K). Tim O’Brien.
Tim O’Brien is both the narrator and protagonist of The Things They Carried. The work recounts his personal experience in the Vietnam War and allows him to comment on the war.