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The Things They Carried PDF

Looking for The Things They Carried PDF by Tim O’Brien. Then it is the right place for you. The Things They Carried is a book of short stories about the Vietnam War. Tim O’Brien usually makes use of standard operating procedures.

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The Things They Carried Book Details

Book NameThe Things They Carried
Book AuthorTim O’Brien
Book Pages233
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The Things They Carried PDF

The Things They Carried summary

This is a story about Lieutenant Jimmy Cross, the leading officer of a band of soldiers in the Vietnam War. The lieutenant is in love with a girl named Martha who is back home attending college. He carries a couple of pictures and letters that she’s sent.

The group comes across a tunnel and they draw numbers to see who has to go in to check it out. As the unlucky soldier is checking out the tunnel, the rest of the men are relaxed, just standing around. Lieutenant Cross is daydreaming about Martha.

One of the men returns from urinating and gets shot in the head. The men regroup, strip the dead soldier of his gear, and call for a chopper to take him out.

As they are waiting, Lieutenant Cross digs a hole and cries, blaming himself for the soldier’s death. After the body is taken away, the lieutenant burns the letters and pictures, vowing to never get distracted again.

Rather than writing the story in a linear fashion, the author talks about the things the men carry as a way of telling the story. Descriptions of the things each of the men carry are given, which adds specificity, detail, and personality to each character.

More importantly, the author breaks down what each man carries by purpose. Whether it be a necessity, field specialty, mission, or superstition, the things they

carry are compartmentalized into groups, which the author then uses to reveal more about each character and the central plot. The transformation of Lieutenant Cross from a lovesick young man to a hardened commanding officer is slow but steady.

At first, Cross is reading Martha’s letters each night and imagines what she is doing. However, Cross begins to doubt Martha’s love for him.

And it is this distraction that results in the death of the soldier. So it isn’t so much that Cross is thinking about Martha. Rather, it is the doubting distraction that results in the death of the soldier. Weight is also discussed in this story, both literally and figuratively.

The things the men carry all have a physical weight, which the author includes to add more detail to the item. However, as the author continuously mentions the weight of the items, readers should begin to realize how heavy the weight is of the things they are actually carrying.

This intensifies when the author then introduces the figurative weight of emotions and responsibility that these men also carry. These men carry the land, the sky, their own lives, shame, reputations. This emotional baggage, which has no physical weight, has an emotional weight that may, in some cases, be heavier than physical things. It is not until the men are flown out of Vietnam

  • that they become the objects being carried
  • that their burdens are lifted. And even then, it is never gone.

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