The Things They Carried
Important Quotations Explained
carried the soldier’s greatest fear, which was the fear of blushing.
Men killed, and died, because they were embarrassed not to. It was
what had brought them to the war in the first place, nothing positive,
no dreams of glory or honor, just to avoid the blush of dishonor.
They died so as not to die of embarrassment.
was a slim, dead, almost dainty young man of about twenty. He lay
with one leg bent beneath him, his jaw in his throat, his face neither
expressive nor inexpressive. One eye was shut. The other was a star-shaped
telling stories, you objectify your own experience. You separate
it from yourself. You pin down certain truths. You make up others.
You start sometimes with an incident that truly happened, like the
night in the shit field, and you carry it forward by inventing incidents
that did not in fact occur but that nonetheless help to clarify
come to this war a quiet, thoughtful sort of person, a college grad,
Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude, all the credentials, but after
seven months in the bush I realized that those high, civilized trappings
had somehow been crushed under the weight of the simple daily realities.
I’d turned mean inside.
I can even see Timmy skating with Linda under the yellow floodlights.
I’m young and happy. I’ll never die. I’m skimming across the surface
of my own history, moving fast, riding the melt beneath the blades,
doing loops and spins, and when I take a high leap into the dark
and come down thirty years later, I realize it is as Tim trying
to save Timmy’s life with a story.
by TheDuckOffender, August 08, 2012
The secret O'Brien claimed to have kept may also have been depicted in that reoccurring emotional/fictional truth that we know oh so well from this story. Perhaps he even showed it in the first chapter, rather than telling it.
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by vickie12, September 04, 2012
What literary period was the things they carried written in?
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