Things They Carried Reflection

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The Things They Carried is an interesting novel not like many others in that it is not one continuous story on a single plot line, but rather the novel is a collection of fictional short stories from a young soldier’s time stationed in Vietnam during the Vietnam War. The stories do not follow a specific order either, and they often are set in different time periods, like how Chapters 1 (The Things They Carried), 2 (Love), and 3 (Spin) are set in the time period when the main character, Tim O’Brien, is deployed in Vietnam, while Chapter 4 (On the Rainy River) is set before the war started right after Tim was drafted, and tells the story of him trying to escape the war. The stories tell the reader the story of the differing backgrounds of many…show more content…
The short stories he writes center on the importance of companionship and friendship during war, which very well may be first hand accounts since O’Brien knows what it is like to actually be in a war. The stories are narrated by a character named Tim O’Brien, a character with a fictional past named after the author and modeled after his experiences. Tim begins the story by telling the reader what each soldier packs with them to help them ease anxiety or remember home while the group marches, which is inspiration for the title. In this beginning chapter, Tim introduces the reader to each character, and most of the characters introduced in this first chapter will have stories that are focused on them or that they appear in later on in the book. The first chapter will introduce the backstory of many of O’Brien’s closest friends during the war, young soldiers like Kiowa, Lieutenant Cross, and Mitchell Sanders. These are some of the characters that O’Brien grows a strong friendship with and they contribute to the main theme of the book, friendship, in that they help him through tough times and they all learn to care about one another.
The Things They Carried is a great read that I would recommend to anyone who likes a good war story. However, the book is not great for someone who likes a storyline that follows
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