The Things They Carried

The Things They Carried

summary by

Marcos Romero-Serrano <romeroserranom@nclack.org>

http://thecrazyplace17.wordpress.com/

“The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien is a fictional book first published in 1990.  The story takes place in both Vietnam and America, after the war, during the war, before the war. “ In June of 1968, a month after graduating from Macalester College, I was drafted” (44). “Forty-three years old, and the war occurred half a lifetime ago, and yet the remembering makes it now. And sometimes remembering will lead to a story, which makes it forever” (40).  Tim is a 23 year old soldier who really just wants to live through the war. Everywhere the story goes, he is either telling about it or he is in it. When he is drafted and his graduate-school deferment is denied, he feels he must fight because it is expected of him.  An entire chapter “On the Rainy River” is devoted to Tim’s struggle with the decision to go to Vietnam or flee to Canada.  When some of the characters question why they were there, a theme is revealed:An opened mind is important.  This can apply to anyone who is confused by what’s wrong and right. 

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