The Things They Carried

By: Tim O'Brien

WHAT IS THIS BOOK ABOUT?

This short story follows the lives of a group of soldiers in the Vietnam War. The soldiers all have "things that they carry" that represent their personalities or experiences they have been through that still "weigh" them down. This short story is one of many in the book entitled "The Things They Carried". It particularly follows Jimmy Cross and his internal battle with a girl that he loves who only sees him as as friend/pen pal and also how all the soldiers deal with the loss of their fellow comrade, Ted Lavender.

Read with a PSYCHOANALYTIC CRITICISM lens

  • Based off of Sigmund Freud's psychoanalytic stages
  • This is ideal because it explains the unsatisfied, unconscious, desires that the soldiers are going through





While reading ask questions like:
  1. What drives the soldier to carry that specific item?
  2. Is the soldier conscious of the reason why he carries the items or does he do so unconsciously?
  3. Are the soldiers dilemmas while at war based off of any past experiences?

WHY SHOULD YOU READ THIS BOOK?

READ THIS SHORT STORY- YOU WON'T REGRET IT!

What do others think?

"A marvel of storytelling...a vital, important book -- a book that matters not only to the reader interested in Vietnam, but in anyone interested in the craft of writing as well." - The New York Times