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The Things They Carried

Term Paper Title: The Things They Carried
Word Count: 695
Page Count: 2.78 (250 words per page double spaced)


The Things They Carried


By: Tim O’Brien


English 10


September 7, 2004


            Tim O’Brien’s, The Things They Carried, was a good piece of literature. The book contains various stories from Tim O’Brien and people he knew during the Vietnam War. The Things They Carried had very memorable characters that were all unique, realistic, and vividly portrayed. The plot of The Things They Carried had many recurring images, a well developed structure, and an extremely worthwhile subject. The theme of the book is universal, developed as the book went on, and also gave the reader a new perspective.


            All of the characters in The Things They Carried were unique, memorable, and very well described. They all had their own reasons for being in the war, weather they wanted to or not. There was Kiowa who was Native American, who was very religious, and he was only in the war because he was drafted. There was also Tim O’Brien’s own story, which was that he had gotten drafted, and almost ran away to Canada before the war. The characters were also realistic to the story, mostly because the book is based on true stories from Vietnam. "The average age in out platoon, I’d guess, was 19 to 20…"  They were mostly young men, all with their own items that they thought brought them luck, or had a kind of emotional value. Carrying items for superstitious reasons was very popular during the war, which makes the characters even more realistic and well portrayed.


            "When a mission took them to the mountains, they carried mosquito netting, machetes, canvas tarps and extra bug juice." In The Things They Carried, the phrase "They carried…" was repeated many times throughout the book. It was the books most popular motif, and it related to the book, because each person carried different things to different places at different times. The books structure was also well developed, because when the author gets the reader into the story that he’s telling at that time, h...

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