The Things They Carried

by Tim O'Brien

Storytelling; Truth vs. Fiction

The narrator sometimes told the truth and told lies throughout the book. An example of the narrator telling the truth is when he took his daughter to Vietnam so she could see the places that he where had to stay when he was at war. His daughter thought the places were boring but the narrator was reliving the war. An example of the narrator lying is when he said that he killed a man in the jungle. The narrator didn't actually kill a man but he said he did because he was there when the man was killed and he feels responsible for the man dying. He thought that he should take some of the responsibility of the guy dying since he was there and watched him die.
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The Physical and Emotional Burdens People Carry

Norman Bowker carried an emotional burden after the war. Once he returned home from the war he felt lonely. He felt like he had no one to talk to. When he talked to his dad, Norman told him that he had 7 medals but he could have had 8. Norman told his dad that he wouldn't understand why he didn't get 8 medals. Norman Bowker thinks that the reason that he doesn't have 8 medals is because he felt like he did enough to save Kiowa's life. Even though he did all that he could to save Kiowa's life, Norman still thought that he could have done more. After a while he couldn't being lonely and thinking about Kiowa and unfortunately committed suicide.
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Coping with Loss

Rat Kiley couldn't cope with the loss of Curt Lemon being dead. Later on in the day when Curt Lemon died, the group came across a baby VC water buffalo. Rat Kiley was upset and decided to take his anger out on the water buffalo. He shot the buffalo in the knees, ears, back and butt. Rat Kiley just needed to take out his anger out on something. About two weeks after Curt Lemon died, Rat Kiley tried to deal with loss of Curt dying by writing a letter to his sister. Writing the letter helped him finish dealing with the loss of Curt Lemon.
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The Meaning of Love

The narrator had "real love" when he was nine with a girl named Linda. The narrator said that it was "real love" because when they went out on a movie date, they didn't talk much. On the way to the movie theater, they just looked out of opposite windows. They didn't talk at all. The only time that the narrator and Linda talked was when the narrator asked Linda if she wanted anything from the concession stand. The narrator thought that nothing needed to be said between him and Linda.
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Works Cited

· “Purple Heart.” 11/8/12

· “Where Angels Cry.” 11/8/12

· “Alone.” 11/8/12

· “Many thanks for your prayers my friends, I+love+you+very+much.” 11/8/12