A classic work of American literature that has not stopped changing minds and lives since it burst onto the literary scene, The Things They Carried is a ground-breaking meditation on war, memory, imagination, and the redemptive power of storytelling. The Things They Carried depicts the men of Alpha Company: Jimmy Cross, Henry Dobbins, Rat Kiley, Mitchell Sanders, Norman Bowker, Kiowa, and the character Tim O’Brien, who has survived his tour in Vietnam to become a father and writer at the age of forty-three. Taught everywhere—from high school classrooms to graduate seminars in creative writing—it has become required reading for any American and continues to challenge readers in their perceptions of fact and fiction, war and peace, courage and fear and longing. The Things They Carried won France's prestigious Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger and the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize; it was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award.
This did not happen is a common refrain throughout the stories in The Things They Carried. Tim O'Brien's account of the Vietnam War purposely blurs the line between fact and fiction to get closer to the truth of what soldiers actually experienced. This compelling volume explores the life of Tim O'Brien and his attempts to wrestle with the trauma and shame of war in The Things They Carried. A collection of related essays explore topics such as the moral complexity of war, writing as a path to spiritual redemption, and the novel's portrayal of gender. Contemporary perspectives on war, such as the need to help soldiers suffering from PTSD and not repeating the mistakes of Vietnam, are also presented.
The perfect companion to Tim O’Brien’s "The Things They Carried," this study guide contains a chapter by chapter analysis of the book, a summary of the plot, and a guide to major characters and themes. BookCap Study Guides do not contain text from the actual book, and are not meant to be purchased as alternatives to reading the book. We all need refreshers every now and then. Whether you are a student trying to cram for that big final, or someone just trying to understand a book more, BookCaps can help. We are a small, but growing company, and are adding titles every month.
So much to read, so little time? This brief overview of The Things They Carried tells you what you need to know—before or after you read Tim O’Brien’s book. Crafted and edited with care, Worth Books set the standard for quality and give you the tools you need to be a well-informed reader. This Summary of The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien includes: Historical context Story-by-story summaries Character analysis Themes and symbols Important quotes Supporting material to enhance your understanding of the source work About The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien: A New York Times Book of the Century and Pulitzer Prize finalist, The Things They Carried is a modern classic and an essential work of literature about the Vietnam War. Brilliantly blending fact and fiction, autobiography and imagination, Tim O’Brien draws on personal experience to tell the stories of a platoon of American soldiers sent to fight Vietnam. As they trek through jungles and across mountains, the young men of Alpha Company carry radios, assault rifles, C-rations, and good luck charms—as well as grief, love, terror, and the shame of cowardice. Most of all, they carry the dream of escape, not yet knowing that the burden of memory will haunt them long after the war is over. Taught in classrooms all over the world, The Things They Carried is a groundbreaking work of art that reveals the true nature of war and celebrates the healing power of storytelling. The summary and analysis in this ebook are intended to complement your reading experience and bring you closer to a great work of fiction.
The original CliffsNotes study guides offer expert commentary on major themes, plots, characters, literary devices, and historical background. The latest generation of titles in this series also feature glossaries and visual elements that complement the classic, familiar format. In CliffsNotes on The Things They Carried, you discover Tim O'Brien's powerful and innovative novel about the experiences of foot soldiers during and after the Vietnam War. Drawing largely on his own experiences during the war, the author creates a fictional protagonist who shares the author's own name, and allows this fictional "Tim O'Brien" to relate disturbing war stories as he creates an indictment against the wastefulness of war. Chapter summaries and commentaries take you through Tim O'Brien's very personal journey. Critical essays give you insight into the novel's historical context, the novel's narrative structure, and the theme of loss of innocence. Other features that help you study include Character analyses of the main characters A character map that graphically illustrates the relationships among the characters A section on the life and background of Tim O'Brien A review section that tests your knowledge A Resource Center full of books, articles, films, and Internet sites Classic literature or modern modern-day treasure — you'll understand it all with expert information and insight from CliffsNotes study guides.
Seminar paper from the year 2011 in the subject American Studies - Literature, grade: 2,7, University of Mannheim (Anglistisches Seminar), course: In Times of Crisis. Representations of War in American Literature and Film from the Civil War to Iraq, language: English, abstract: In the book "The things they carried" by Tim O'Brien the narrator says that a good war story is never true. He admits that nearly everything in the book is made up, after saying that it is true before. However, the reader learns that not until the 7th chapter, in which O'Brien, the narrator, tells the reader that everything up to now has been invented. Similarly, he leaves open if some things are true or not. Even the narrator, who is named like the author himself, is made up and has no or little similarity to the author, e.g the author O'Brien does not have a daughter, whereas the narrator O'Brien does. Reading "The things they carried," a question keeps coming up again and again: Why does he do that? Why does Tim O'Brien, the narrator, constantly tell the reader that everything is made up? It does not make any sense. The reader just gets confused. In addition to this question, I found myself wondering if there was a clear difference between truth and fiction in the book, namely if you could say this is true and this is untrue and this is certain and this is uncertain. And if yes, was it O'Brien's intention to draw this clear line, or did it just happen by accident? Of course, one cannot know everything for certain and no one can look into O'Brien's brain, but you can make assumptions based on the knowledge you have. In my paper I will focus mainly on the aspect why the principle of truth and fiction is used in The things the carried and which effects come out of that. I think this is very interesting, because, in my opinion, this is the main aspect of the whole book. Someone who reads it will not be able to stop themselves from asking questions in their head. The main process while reading
A classic work of American literature that has not stopped changing minds and lives since it burst onto the literary scene, The Things They Carried is a ground-breaking meditation on war, memory, imagination, and the redemptive power of storytelling. The Things They Carried depicts the men of Alpha Company: Jimmy Cross, Henry Dobbins, Rat Kiley, Mitchell Sanders, Norman Bowker, Kiowa, and the character Tim O’Brien, who has survived his tour in Vietnam to become a father and writer at the age of forty-three. Taught everywhere—from high school classrooms to graduate seminars in creative writing—it has become required reading for any American and continues to challenge readers in their perceptions of fact and fiction, war and peace, courage and fear and longing. Amazon.com Review "They carried all the emotional baggage of men who might die. Grief, terror, love, longing--these were intangibles, but the intangibles had their own mass and specific gravity, they had tangible weight. They carried shameful memories. They carried the common secret of cowardice.... Men killed, and died, because they were embarrassed not to." A finalist for both the 1990 Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award, The Things They Carried marks a subtle but definitive line of demarcation between Tim O'Brien's earlier works about Vietnam, the memoir If I Die in a Combat Zone and the fictional Going After Cacciato, and this sly, almost hallucinatory book that is neither memoir nor novel nor collection of short stories but rather an artful combination of all three. Vietnam is still O'Brien's theme, but in this book he seems less interested in the war itself than in the myriad different perspectives from which he depicts it. Whereas Going After Cacciato played with reality, The Things They Carried plays with truth. The narrator of most of these stories is "Tim"; yet O'Brien freely admits that many of the events he chronicles in this collection never really happened. He never killed a man as "Tim" does in "The Man I Killed," and unlike Tim in "Ambush," he has no daughter named Kathleen. But just because a thing never happened doesn't make it any less true. In "On the Rainy River," the character Tim O'Brien responds to his draft notice by driving north, to the Canadian border where he spends six days in a deserted lodge in the company of an old man named Elroy while he wrestles with the choice between dodging the draft or going to war. The real Tim O'Brien never drove north, never found himself in a fishing boat 20 yards off the Canadian shore with a decision to make. The real Tim O'Brien quietly boarded the bus to Sioux Falls and was inducted into the United States Army. But the truth of "On the Rainy River" lies not in facts but in the genuineness of the experience it depicts: both Tims went to a war they didn't believe in; both considered themselves cowards for doing so. Every story in The Things They Carried speaks another truth that Tim O'Brien learned in Vietnam; it is this blurred line between truth and reality, fact and fiction, that makes his book unforgettable. --Alix Wilber From Publishers Weekly Weapons and good-luck charms carried by U.S. soldiers in Vietnam here represent survival, lost innocence and the war's interminable legacy. "O'Brien's meditations--on war and memory, on darkness and light--suffuse the entire work with a kind of poetic form, making for a highly original, fully realized novel," said PW. 60,000 first printing. Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
The inspiration for this series of reflections initially came from Tim O Brien's collection of short stories reflecting on his time in Vietnam called The Things They Carried. In these stories we don't just hear about the physical things that the soldiers carry, but also their terrors and dreams. The author has taken this idea and applied it to the Passion, focussing on the things that Jesus carried: not just the cross itself, but the crown of thorns he was forced to wear, the seamless robe that was taken from him, the other burdens that we laid upon him, and also the hopes and fears that he carried in his heart and that are reflected in the different passion narratives. The idea was further developed for the 2006 Good Friday 'Three Hours' service at St Paul's Cathedral and it is these reflections that have now been expanded and developed into this book. Suitable for Lenten study, either for groups or individuals, the engagingly written meditations will have a life beyond Lent and will bear repeated reading.
Studienarbeit aus dem Jahr 2000 im Fachbereich Amerikanistik - Literatur, Note: 2,25, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg (Anglistisches Seminar), Sprache: Deutsch, Abstract: [...] Die Geschichte The Things They Carried spielt Mitte 1970 in der Nähe der Ortschaft Than Khe und handelt von dem oben schon erwähnten Zug, dem siebzehn Soldaten angehören, von denen neun wiederum mit Namen genannt werden. Zum einen enthält sie, fast listenhaft, Aufzählungen von Dingen, die die Soldaten während ihrem Einsatz in Vietnam tragen müssen oder wollen. Diese Dinge sind sowohl materieller Art und Weise, als auch belastende Erinnerungen, Erfahrungen und Gefühle. Zum anderen erzählt die Geschichte von Lieutenant Cross, der aufgrund seiner Liebe zu Martha geistig von seiner Arbeit abgelenkt wird. Als Ted Lavender erschossen wird fühlt Cross sich schuldig, da er es seiner Meinung nach hätte verhindern können, wäre er nicht durch Martha abgelenkt gewesen. Als Konsequenz beschließt er, mehr Disziplin in seinen Zug einzuführen und Martha aus seinen Gedanken zu verbannen. Ein weiteres Thema ist der Tod Ted Lavenders und die Reaktionen der Männer, besonders von Jimmy Cross und Kiowa. Wie oben schon erwähnt, wird die Geschichte immer wieder von Abschnitten geprägt, die davon berichten was die Männer bei sich tragen. Diese Listen unterbrechen immer wieder die zusammenhängende Geschichte von Jimmy Cross. Es ist als würde ein Geschichtenerzähler immer wieder unterbrochen und abgelenkt werden. Wenn er dann mit seiner Geschichte fortfahren will überschneidet es sich teilweise mit schon Gesagten, auf das er jetzt aber näher eingeht als beim ersten Mal. Durch 5 diese Wiederholungen wird besonders Jimmy Cross Gedankengang verbildlicht. Seine Gedanken kreisen immer nur um Martha, mal intensiver, mal weniger intensiv. Auch kreisen sie immer wieder um die selben Bilder aus der Vergangenheit. Auch Jimmy Cross wird immer wieder, durch den Alltag, bei seinem Träumen unterbrochen. Nach der Unterbrechung fährt er dann mit seinen Träumen fort, die meist wieder von vorn beginnen. Für den Leser intensiviert sich dadurch Jimmy Cross Gedankengang, so daß er immer mehr und immer genauere Angaben von Jimmy Cross Problem erhält. Im weiteren Verlauf dieser Arbeit wird genauer auf die Person Jimmy Cross eingegangen, was seine Ausgangsposition ist, und wie sich seine Liebe zu Martha und er sich selber im Verlauf der Kurzgeschichte verändert. Als Gegenposition zu Jimmy Cross wird dann noch kurz auf die restlichen Männer des Platoons eingegangen, die sich im Verlauf der Geschichte nicht verändern.