The Things They Carried is a short stories collection. The author Tim O’Brien describes in it his experience in an American platoon during the Vietnam War. The book first appeared in 1990 in Houghton Mifflin. It contains mostly invented stories, although the main character is named Tim O’Brien as the author.
Before the book was even published, some stories appeared in a few magazines. Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong, The Things They Carried, The Lives of the Dead, and The Ghost Soldiers could be read in Esquire Magazine, while On the Rainy River was first published in the Playboy magazine.
The first chapter describes all the soldiers except for the main character Tim O’Brien. In the first half, the story is dealing with physical objects, weapons and memorabilia for example, the second half deals with more abstract subjects, such as anxiety and responsibility.
Later, the Tim O’Brien character tells about his adventures when he was called up as a soldier for the war: he went to the north to the Canadian border in attempt to avoid his service. He described himself as a pacifist and was classified politically left. Finally, he changed up his mind because he did not want to lose his honor and family.
During the story, several characters were killed. In the very first chapter, we learn about Ted Lavender’s death. After that, the story tells about the death of Curt Lemon, who was killed while playing with a grenade, and then there is Kiowas death, who could not get out of a mud field.
The fictional Tim O’Brien is depicted in the story as a writer who wants to use his experiences in the Vietnam War as an author. In the last chapter, he also discusses his childhood and explains here the background to his lack of courage to go against the current.
Although the story is a fiction (the facts narrated and the characters are not real, while presenting many components semi-autobiographical), the book describes the war in a precise and detailed manner. According to Tim O’Brien, create a story that is technically false, but presenting the war realistically, instead of just listing the facts without arousing any emotion in the reader, is the best way to tell the story of the soldiers involved.
University students, who have chosen Tim O’Brien’s work as a topic for their research papers, have to profoundly investigate the subject and carefully analyze the result of their investigation.
After that, they have to use free sample research paper topics on The Things They Carried in order to understand the procedure of presenting their ideas on the subject on paper. These free sample papers were written by experienced professionals and may be very helpful for beginners.
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