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|The Things They Carried PDF|
|No. Of Pages: 158|
|PDF Size: 830 KB|
|Category: eBooks & Novels|
|Author: Tim O’Brien|
The Things They Carried Summary
The protagonist, Tim O’Brien, begins by narrating an event that occurred during his time in Vietnam. The book “The Things They Carried” describes the many objects that his Alpha Company buddies brought on their missions. Several of these goods, such as humiliation and horror, are intangible, while others, such as matches, morphine, M-16 weapons, and M & M candies, are tactile.
Many of the anthology’s stories involve the same characters. Ted Lavender, a “grunt,” or low-ranking soldier, was the Alpha Company’s first casualty. He takes tranquillizers and uses marijuana to deal with his anxiety over the conflict. When Lavender is shot in the head on his way back from the toilet, Lieutenant Jimmy Cross, Lavender’s employer, blames himself for the disaster. When Lavender is shot, Cross is distracted by recollections of Martha, a college crush. Cross’s love for Martha, whom he dated briefly before heading to Vietnam, was never reciprocated, and his regret for Lavender’s death continued even twenty years later, as depicted in “Love.”
In “On the Rainy River,” the narrator, O’Brien, discusses the events that led him to Vietnam in the first place, and his befuddled emotions drive him north to the Canadian border, which he contemplates crossing to escape being obliged to fight in a war in which he does not believe. While sitting in a boat with the proprietor of the Tip Top Lodge, where he is staying, O’Brien decides that his guilt for escaping the conflict and his fear of failing his family are more important than his political convictions. He flees swiftly, returning to Worthington, Minnesota, before heading to Vietnam.
Curt Lemon is killed when he steps on a rigged mortar shell, and a few other Alpha Company members, including Ted Lavender, are killed while on duty overseas. Despite not knowing Lemon, O’Brien tells a storey in “The Dentist” about how Lemon tries to save face by insisting on having a perfectly good tooth pulled before a routine checkup with an army-issued dentist. Another crew member, Lee Strunk, died as a consequence of injuries sustained after walking on a landmine. Before Strunk was seriously hurt, O’Brien remembered Strunk and Dave Jensen striking a deal: if one of them was irrevocably harmed, the other would guarantee that he would die immediately. Strunk, on the other hand, asks Jensen to spare him if he is really hurt, which Jensen agrees to. Jensen is relieved, not upset, by his friend’s death while on route to therapy.
In The Things They Carried, the death of Kiowa, a cherished member of the Alpha Company and one of O’Brien’s closest friends, receives the most attention. In “Speaking of Courage,” Norman Bowker’s recollections from years after the war are used to tell the storey of Kiowa’s death. Bowker is driving around a lake in his hometown of Iowa, reflecting on how he failed to assist Kiowa, who was killed when a mortar shell hit him, sending him flying into a marshy field. Unlike Norman Bowker in “Notes,” O’Brien recognises that he has dealt with his guilt over Kiowa’s death in a unique manner. Just before the war’s end, O’Brien receives a long letter from Bowker, in which he explains that he hasn’t found a way to make life meaningful after combat. O’Brien swears to tell Bowker’s storey, as well as the tale of Kiowa’s death, in order to cope with his own feelings of sorrow and hollowness.
Several of O’Brien’s novels, such as “LOVE” and “NOTES,” are told through the eyes of a forty-three-year-old writer living in Massachusetts twenty years after the Vietnam War ended. As a consequence of learning of the guilt of former friends like Jimmy Cross and Norman Bowker, he began to make up stories to attempt to understand what they were going through. However, two works, “The Guy I Killed” and “Ambush,” were written so that O’Brien could confront his remorse for killing a guy with a grenade outside of My Khe’s village. In “The Man I Killed,” O’Brien imagines his victim’s life from childhood to what would have occurred if he hadn’t been caught walking down the street and thrown a bomb at his feet. O’Brien imagines telling his nine-year-old daughter Kathleen the storey of the man he killed in an “ambush.” In this second narrative, O’Brien goes into further detail about the actual killing, including the sound of the explosion and his personal feelings, and confesses that he is still processing the incident years later.
“The Lives of the Dead,” O’Brien’s most recent storey, adds a fresh twist to his notion that tales have the power to save people. In the Curt Lemon and Kiowa stories, O’Brien describes how his imagination helped him deal with his guilt and disorientation after the death of his fourth-grade first love, Linda.
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