The things they carried book summary. The Things They Carried: Book Summary 2022-10-14

The things they carried book summary Rating: 9,8/10 1739 reviews

"The Things They Carried" is a collection of short stories by Tim O'Brien, published in 1990. The book follows a group of soldiers who are fighting in the Vietnam War and the various physical and emotional burdens they carry with them during their time in combat.

One of the main themes of the book is the weight of fear and the different ways in which the soldiers cope with it. Many of the soldiers carry items that they believe will protect them or bring them luck, such as good luck charms or talismans. Others carry items that remind them of home, such as photographs or letters from loved ones.

One of the soldiers, Jimmy Cross, carries a photo of a girl he is in love with, Martha. He becomes obsessed with the idea of saving her from the horrors of the war and often daydreams about their future together. However, the weight of his obsession ultimately leads to the death of one of his fellow soldiers, Lavender.

Another soldier, Tim O'Brien, carries his own guilt and shame over his decision to flee to Canada rather than fight in the war. He struggles with the idea of cowardice and what it means to be brave. O'Brien eventually decides to return to Vietnam as a journalist, partly to confront his own demons and to bear witness to the experiences of the soldiers he fought alongside.

The soldiers also carry physical burdens, such as heavy packs filled with supplies and weapons. These items are necessary for their survival, but they also serve as a constant reminder of the dangers they face every day.

Throughout the book, O'Brien explores the concept of truth and how it is often subjective and fluid. He grapples with the idea of whether it is more important to tell the truth or to protect others from the pain of the truth.

In the end, the soldiers of "The Things They Carried" carry with them the weight of their experiences in the war, both good and bad. They carry the memories of their comrades and the loss they have suffered, as well as the fear and guilt they feel. These burdens are a part of who they are and will stay with them long after the war has ended.

The Things They Carried: Book Summary

the things they carried book summary

He says the bad stuff still happens. However, he feared the dentist. A trail outside My Khe, a hand grenade, a dead young man, Kiowa telling O'Brien he had no choice. As they take in, there is a mention of Martha, a girl that Cross still loves. He is haunted by the cutting knowledge that his affection will most likely never be returned.

Next

The Things They Carried Spin Summary & Analysis

the things they carried book summary

You can see the full discussion Some of the recent comments posted about The Things They Carried: According to O'Brien, what responsibilities does—or should—the storyteller bear? He remembers how Kiowa died daily. Jimmy Cross gave the poppa-san a hug while Mitchell Sanders and Lee Strunk gave him boxes of C rations. His prose is simply magnificent. As he sits at his typewriter he remembers Kiowa disappearing under the mud and Curt Lemon blown up in pieces into a tree. He recognizes the similarity of his ability to animate her in his mind and his writing about Vietnam, and realizes that he tells these stories to save his own life. He wishes to bring his war experience alive for his daughter by bringing her to the country that has defined so much of his life.

Next

The Things They Carried: Full Book Summary

the things they carried book summary

If the author didn't "live" events, it seems to me that he most certainly was told about them, either while he was in Vietnam or after he returned home, either. To fully comprehend and appreciate the novel, particularly the passages that gloss the nature of writing and storytelling, it is important to remember that the work is fictional rather than a conventional non-fiction, historical account. Still, Cross can think of nothing but Martha. At night he drove around in his father's car, sometimes with a six-pack of beer. He wrote it in about two weeks and published it as a story. Later, Strunk loses most of his leg in a battle.


Next

Book Summary

the things they carried book summary

They break up with the girlfriend, but he continues using the stocking. The things they carry are also determined by their rank or specialty. Strunk and Jensen have become close friends and do everything together. However, there is the insinuation that because Bowker couldn't find words to put to the memories that were driving him mad, and he believed O'Brien to be his last hope, he ultimately gave up on living altogether. The story is about one soldier whose unit spent its time in a very quiet sector of the front. The items include the physical war items such as guns and the personal items such as the pebble that Jimmy Cross carried.


Next

The Things They Carried Notes Summary & Analysis

the things they carried book summary

They even agree that one should kill the other if any of them is seriously harmed in an ambush. He walks her back to her dormitory and recalls how he had taken her back to the same spot after they kissed on their date before the war. O'Brien says the average age in the platoon was about nineteen or twenty, so the atmosphere was playful in a warped way. After experiencing war, it doesn't feel right to feel at peace. The platoon leader Jimmy Cross knows Kiley shot himself on purpose, but he also knows how brave Kiley was in the past. Henry Dobbins sewing on his buck-sergeant stripes.

Next

The Things They Carried Chapter Summaries

the things they carried book summary

As a writer, O'Brien constantly analyzes and comments upon how stories are told and why they are told. What do you think specific items might reveal about the individuals carrying them and the experience of going to war? The stories have a specificity of observed physical detail that makes them seem a model of the realist's art"- Miami Herald "O'Brien's stunning new book of linked stories, The Things They Carried, is about the power of the imagination. He says the peace "felt so good it hurt. The emotional burdens that the soldiers bear are intensified by their young age and inexperience. He has no deep commitment to the war, and, at 24 years of age, feels himself to be entirely unsuited to be making life-or-death decisions for others. O'Brien has invented a tone of voice precisely suited to this war.

Next

Tim O’Brien "The Things They Carried" Summary and Plot Overview 🤓

the things they carried book summary

Jimmy Cross as an inexperienced and ill-equipped leader of Alpha Company, both in-country and at a post-war reunion. He can bring the dead back to life. Army platoon in South Vietnam during the war. And bring back the dreaming, too. Go out and get this book and read it. The story tells the reader the items that the soldiers carried to the war.

Next

The Things They Carried Book Summary by Tim O'Brien

the things they carried book summary

The scene of Kiowa's death in a battlefield becomes the basis for several of the novel's vignettes: "Speaking of Courage," "In the Field," "Field Trip," and "Notes. Part of the reason is that there are some personal feelings of empathy having had a family member involved in this war. Bowker chastises himself for complaining too much because he doesn't hate anything more than a "whiner-vet. The author says that the soldiers were not prepared for this war. Cross is a reluctant commander, who never wanted the responsibility of leading men in combat.

Next

The Things They Carried “The Things They Carried” Summary & Analysis

the things they carried book summary

Lots to think about. Through a series of linked semi-autobiographical stories, "O'Brien" illuminates the characters of the men with whom he served and draws meaning about the war from meditations on their relationships. They interact with the temple monks and discuss their own feelings about religion. He borrowed imagery from the memory of his own hometown. They carry Vietnam itself, in the heavy weather and the dusty soil.

Next