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The Things They Carried

Tim O’Brien

Key Questions and Answers

Summary Key Questions and Answers
What happens to Rat Kiley?

The medic Rat Kiley has a mental breakdown. At first he becomes silent and then begins to talk nonstop about the bugs in Vietnam being out to get him while digging at his own skin. Having seen too much war and too many wounded bodies, he also can’t stop imagining how living people would look if they were dead. He finally arranges for his own exit from the war zone by deliberately shooting himself in the foot. He is then medevaced out to Japan.