The Things They Carried: Summary Final Review. He describes Lt. Jimmy Cross as an inexperienced and ill-equipped leader of Alpha Company, both in-country and at a post-war reunion. Start Your Free Trial.
been destroyed. (pg.87), When he came to, there was a funny new look on his face, almost sheepish, as if he'd been caught committing some terrible crime.
(pg.39), "No safe ground: enemies everywhere" (pg.63), "In any other circumstance it might've ended there. He loves her, and though he knows she doesn't love him, he hopes she will. from the ironic twists of fate omnipresent in the mysterious jungle. Grief, terror, love, longing- these were intangibles had their own mass and specific gravity, they had tangible weight." idea that manifestations of femininity serve as comforting reminders It was mostly in his head. While “Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong” challenges the The recurring memory of the novel that O'Brien recalls as a sort of coda, or repeated image, is the death of his friend and fellow soldier, Kiowa.
The Things They Carried Chapter 1, The Things They Carried.
Rat tells her what a brother she had, how together they guy was, a number one pal and comrade. The primary action of the novel is "O'Brien's" remembering the past and working and reworking the details of these memories of his service in Vietnam into meaning.
Treat them decent, you know? With the pantyhose around his neck, Dobbins survives Four of us had to hoist him up and lay him on the cot."
Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of The Things They Carried and what it means. (pg.63), "This is true. 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.
"O'Brien" relates personal stories, among them a story that he had never divulged before about how he planned to flee to Canada to avoid the draft. Finally, "O'Brien" remembers a girl from his childhood who died from cancer, the first dead body he saw before being in-country.
O'Brien presents to his readers both a war memoir and a writer's autobiography, and complicates this presentation by creating a fictional protagonist who shares his name. Start studying The Things They Carried Chapters 5-7. 20), "All the things we still carried through our lives."
Ultimately, he surmises, "truth in a story is not necessarily due to 'factual' accuracy." and implausibility. soldiers and women.
(pgs. SparkNotes is brought to you by Barnes & Noble. of home, “Stockings” enforces it. "O'Brien" describes Bowker's difficulty adjusting to civilian life after he returns from Vietnam as he recalls his own ease slipping back into the routine of daily life, which for him was graduate school.
About The Things They Carried. One eye was shot. The other was a star-shaped hole. The story affirms Henry Dobbins’s "But this too is true: stories can save us. "(pg.130), "When she was nine, my daughter Kathleen asked if I had ever killed anyone. that this tactic is, in the end, nothing but superstition. In each of these, O'Brien recalls snippets of memory and builds an indictment against the wastefulness of the war. His name was Bob Kiley, but everybody called him Rat.
", "You're right," he said. "All you can do is be nice. When (pg.27), "At one point, I remember, we paused over a snapshot of Ted Lavender, and after a while Jimmy rubbed his eyes and said he'd never forgiven himself for Lavender's death. In "Speaking of Courage," the fictional "O'Brien" presents a story that he wrote about a Vietnam comrade named Norman Bowker.
luck charm. Through the telling of this story, "O'Brien" confesses what he considers a failure of his convictions: He was a coward because he went to participate in a war in which he did not believe. All rights reserved. With “Stockings,” O’Brien contends Send guys to war, they come home talking dirty." After the first chapter, the narrator is identified as "Tim O'Brien," a middle-aged writer and veteran. © 2020 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Despite the pain of
Dobbins’s girlfriend comes to exist for him in the realm of superstition; Dobbins
First Lieutenant Jimmy Cross carries letters from a girl named Martha, a college student back in New Jersey. He kept that pebble in his mouth, tasting the flavor of salt water and moisture.
"O'Brien," who spent the summer before he had to report to the Army working in a meatpacking factory, left work early one day and drove toward Canada, stopping at a fishing lodge to rest and devise a plan. In The Things They Carried, protagonist "Tim O'Brien," a writer and Vietnam War veteran, works through his memories of his war … 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. She knew about the war; she knew I'd been a solider.
(pgs. Next by superstition rather than by rationality. Called both a novel and a collection of interrelated short stories, Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried is a unique and challenging book that emerges from a complex variety of literary traditions. stockings, contending that their special, protective power has not describing Dobbins and his belief, despite its seeming inconsistency
originally rationalizes wearing the stockings because their smell no bearing on the protective power of the mystical stockings, since
Vietnam. In October, Dobbins’s girlfriend dumps him. (pg.27), "The war wasn't all terror and violence" (pg.31), "This is one story. and feel remind him of his girlfriend and of a safer world away from The Things They Carried and American War Novels.
notion that his girlfriend’s stockings, which he ties around his The Things They Carried challenges the reader to think about whether or not truth exists, whether or not there is such a thing as right v. wrong, and finally whether the idea of morality is flexible based on the context (in this case, in the fields of Vietnam). If you don't care for obscenity, you don't care for the truth; if you don't care for the truth, watch how you vote. If a story seems moral, do not believe it. Ultimately, "O'Brien" yields to what he perceives as societal pressures to conform to notions of duty, courage, and obligation, and he returns home instead of continuing on to Canada. He gets all teary telling about the good times they had together, how her brother made the war seem almost fun." from your Reading List will also remove any A summary of Part X (Section9) in Tim O’Brien's The Things They Carried. (pg. Though his ex-girlfriend no longer offers herself as But he was not there. that rationally thinking men can be made to think irrationally in
Use up and down arrows to review and enter to select. Ted is the physical representation of fear, which is brought on by the conflicts and hardships of war. But even after their breakup, he continues to wear the
Gravity. the rejection, he ties the pantyhose around his neck, remarking
The ironies went beyond him. Instead, if the story affects the reader or listener in a personal and meaningful way, then that emotion is the truth of the story. "O'Brien" realizes that he must not have put the memories of Vietnam behind him because he constantly writes about them. CliffsNotes study guides are written by real teachers and professors, so no matter what you're studying, CliffsNotes can ease your homework headaches and help you score high on exams. "You keep writing these war stories," she said, "so I guess you must've killed somebody." It does not instruct nor encourage virtue, nor suggest models of proper human behavior, nor restrain men from doing the things men have always done.
"The things they carried were largely determined by necessity." power of the stockings is more important than the objective truth Learn. neck, keep him from harm. Not to anyone. The pressures were enormous" (pg.15), "They carried themselves with poise, a kind of dignity." "(pg.124), "He was slim, dead, almost dainty young man of about twenty. a source of comfort to him, he continues to perceive her as one. Chapter 1 Summary “The Things They Carried” Here, the reader is introduced to the narrator in the story, Tim O’Brien and the leader of the platoon they were in Jimmy Cross. with their significance. As a writer, O'Brien constantly analyzes and comments upon how stories are told and why they are told. Indeed, in the end, Dobbins does survive the (pg.131). it is what she represents rather than who she is that endows them
There was some pain, no doubt, but in the morning Curt Lemon was all smiles." 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.
If at the end of a war of a story you fell uplifted, or if you feel that some small bit of rectitude has been salavaged from the larger waste, then you have been the victim of a very old and terrible lie." Sign in|Recent Site Activity|Report Abuse|Print Page|Powered By Google Sites, "What they carried varied by mission." Because the stockings cushion Dobbins from reality, Is The Things They Carried fiction or memoir? It was something that would never go away, he said quietly, and I nodded and told him I felt the same about certain things." He wouldn't talk to anyone. STUDY. At the same time, however, it emphasizes In one of the letters, Martha sends, the Lieutenant a pebble she had found in a beach in Jersey. ", "His jaw was in his throat, his upper lip and teeth were gone, his one eye was shut, his other eye was a star-shaped hole, his eyebrows were thin and arched like a woman's, his nose was undamaged, there was a slight tear at the lobe of one ear, his clean black hair was swept upward into a cowlick at the rear of the skull, his forehead was lightly freckled, his fingernails were clean, the skin at his left cheek was peeled back in three ragged strips, his right cheek was smooth and hairless, there was a butterfly on his chin, his neck was open to the spinal cord and the trail, a slim, dead, almost dainty young man. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans.
they improve his psychological condition. The Things They Carried - Chapters Summary.
Match. (pg.19), "They carried all the emotional baggage of men who might die. 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." Spell. For the rest of the day he stayed by himself, sitting alone under a tree, just staring down at the field tent. (pg.11), "Lieutenant Cross gazed at the tunnel. Terms in this set (24) Ch 1:"The Things They Carried"-Lieutenant Jimmy Cross talk about his lover Martha and how he always carried her letter and pebble with him. (pg.88), "Henry Dobbins was a good man, and a superb solider, but sophistication was not his strong suit. Superstitions are prevalent in Vietnam, and the pantyhose are Dobbins’s good "I'll never die. Removing #book# she becomes more of an imagined symbol than a real person. In any case, the belief in the He had a tendency to play the rough solider role, always posturing, always puffing himself up, and on occasion he took it too far." bookmarked pages associated with this title. Get free homework help on Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried: book summary, chapter summary and analysis, quotes, essays, and character analysis courtesy of CliffsNotes. O’Brien shows how American soldiers order their experience of their power. American soldiers in Vietnam during the war carry many things, most of them from home. But this was Vietnam, where guys carried guns, and Dave Jensen started to worry. For example: Lieutenant Jimmy Cross, carried letters from a girl named Martha. Use this CliffsNotes The Things They Carried Study Guide today to ace your next test!
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