The first member of the Alpha Company to die is Ted Lavender,a low-ranking soldier who they refer to as a "Grunt. He is shot in the head on his way back from going to the bathroom, and when his leader, Lieutenant Jimmy Cross, finds out of his death he blames himself for Lavender's unnecessary and tragic death. When Lavender is shot, Cross is deep in his thoughts of his college crush, Martha. O'Brien writes about how Cross's "love" for Martha was the cause of Lavender's death and he still holds his guilt years after the war has ended.
O'Brien continues on describing the events he was involved in, and then goes into each of them describing how his fellow comrades and sometimes himself reacts, and attempts to overcome them. He uses somewhat real stories to describe how tough it is for a man to be in a situation like what he was in, meta-fiction suggesting that no real story can describe what it was like. These problems that were presented to O'Brien and his fellow soldiers in the Vietnam War changed all of their lives.
The war changed them to such a point that every day, every moment of their lives yet to come will never be like before the war. O'Brien tells of others and how they have attempted to overcome their problems which are the same or similar to his. He seems to attempt to use their methods in hopes that they will fix his problems and he will be able to return to his life before he was given no choice but to head to war. O'Brien was led into a room with no way out, he is stuck carrying what he was carrying at the end of his experience in Vietnam and he is striving to find a way to get it off of his shoulders and find a better mental state.
This novel could be thought of as a way that Tim O'Brien used to share his thoughts and feelings of the war and his post traumatic stress disorder. Overall, this is an excellent novel.
It is a great "thinker" book and is not a typical easy read for a High School student like myself. It is very fun to read, but it is also very difficult to read which would be one, if not my only dislike of this book. This book would be great to read because it gives you an excellent point of view from a veterans perspective; this novel shows a true veteran and what it is like to be one. An overall rating of five stars, a great book that brings satisfaction and difficulty at the same time. Tim O'Brien kept me wanting to come back for more.
The detail he uses describing the settings and events as they unfold will captivate you. The litteral and figural things they carry are so well explained by O'Brien. Deffinetly a must read for any Veteran or history lover. ChiliHead More than 1 year ago I read this book only because O'Brien was coming to my school to speak. I cannot be happier that this occurred! The novel is essentially a series of interconnected short stories about a group of soldiers in Vietnam.
My uncle was a Vietnam veteran, and he told me the book was about as good as they got when dealing with the subject matter perhaps given to the fact O'Brien himself is a Vietnam veteran. I have encountered few books required by school that have made their way into my top-faves list.
On the CG’s Bookshelf: The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
This one, I must say, is in at least spot three if not two. I cannot wait to read more by O'Brien and I hope he never stops writing! I loved O'Brien's piece when it was a short story, which would ultimately become the first chapter of the novel; then to find out that it had been expanded into a full novel, I practically ran to my bookstore to get it. O'Brien's writing is so evocative and poignant, it's incredible sometimes that it doesn't collapse under its own weight.
It just shows the reader his skill. I'm currently searching through some of his other works to see which one I'd like to start next, but this is something any fan of literature would want to sit down with. It just a pleasure reading. However I myself am not a war veteran I am a 20 year old female college student and I fell in love with this book because of how it can capture the truth with fiction.
The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
This book is worth reading if you are a person who loves literature and reading about human experiences. At first i thought it was another depressing war story, but upon further study and better understanding of the book i have come to appreaciate all the little details that make this a wonderful book. This book has also made me come to realize the little things that matter most in life, especially in such an extreme situation as war. Dazia More than 1 year ago I had to read this book for my English class. It was a very interesting book to read.
There were some parts I liked and others i disliked. I disliked how Mary Anne Bell just disappeared without any sign of anything like she was a ghost. It didn't make sense too me. I liked how Tim O'Brien at the end of the book reveled how this book was all because of his one friend who had cancer when he was younger. It brings everything together and makes it more understandable. The book is not only full of different twist and plot changes, it also has a great range of meaning in each chapter you read.
The book makes you think beyond its chapters. All though The Things They Carried is a fictional war story full of metaphors, juxtapositions, subliminal messages, and hidden riddles; the different views of O'brien and all the other characters will make you feel like the it is so much more than that. I loved the fact that the book interested not only my high school class but also my family members bot young and old. I enjoyed it so much, and I don't believe that there is a book that I would more recommend than this. The people that like non-fiction books about war heroes, war veterans and more, this would be the perfect book for you.
There is so much detail in this book, it makes you feel like you are actually in it. One thing in this book that really stood out to me that made me like this book so much more, is the imagery.
The Things They Carried - Tim O'Brien - | HPB
For example, when Tim O'Brien was talking about Mary Anne Bell and how her eyes were going through all of the darkness all around her. DmoneyBaby More than 1 year ago I think that the book was very interesting, I liked the book and found the book very interesting. I would recommend the book to anyone who loves books that involve action and someone that likes book that have a mysterious twist too the plot of the story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago I am currently reading this in my English 3 class and I have to say I'm finding it interesting. The book is raw and I like how Tim O'Brien doesn't sugercoat things. He tells it how it is. Like when the young man is killed he says, "His jaw was in his throat, one eye closed, the other a star-shaped hole. I feel that when the war in Iraq was still going on we never got any details, we never knew what exactly happened.
We were just told how many died and where they died. And to those of you who think this book has no plot or don't like how it's broken up or doesn't have a story line, stop and think for a moment. These are the author's memories, these are what happened. It doesn't matter if they're in order or not, what matters is that it's being told.
These are war stories, they aren't going to be in order, in perfect succession. Do you think the Vietnam war was like that? In perfect order and succession? No, there were events that were unexpected and unplanned for, like someone getting killed. Yeah, you knew it was going to happen, but you didn't know when or to whom it would. So think about it before you say it had no story line or didn't make sense or it didn't have a plot.
War stories don't have plots, they don't have story lines, and maybe, sometimes, they don't make sense. I mean, war really doesn't make sense, does it? And war stories are never true, to quote Tim O'Brien. These stories are supposed to make you think. It doesn't matter if they're true or not, just as long as they make you think. I would definitely recommend this book to someone because it lets us readers see some of the things the soldiers in Vietnam went through.
I nevr really understood how bad the Vietnam war and knew exactly what the soldiers went through was until I read this book so I'm grateful and glad I am reading it so I can finally understand. Tim tells the stories of all the trials and tribulations of Alpha company and all the hardships they endure. Tim does a fantastic job describing the events of Vietnam and with his ability to perfectly articulate the feeling of war, makes the reader feel the pain of the soldiers and the agony of war.
Having said this, Tim throughout the book when he explains stories, jumps around and does not really give strong details. He begins stories while explaining another story, and then continues the original story a paragraph later. This makes its difficult to follow the story as itself and then you have to follow and keep track of the other stories themselves.
Tim uses it as a way to connect with the characters but in reality makes it even more difficult to accomplish this. The majority of the book described his experience during the middle of the Vietnam War. Throughout the book he catalogs the variety of things his companions brought on their missions.
Several of these things were intangible, such as emotions, while others were physical objects, including M, morphine and different types of candy. Not only did he signify what was brought on the missions he also touched on the things he and his fellow soldiers got out of the war and the affects they had on ever day life. For tickets, call or go online. Loved the book but found the performance slightly underwhelming. I think some major themes of the book — how to define truth, for example — were just too difficult to portray on stage. I like the actor, and he definitely had moments where his talent shone through.
Unfortunately I think many portions of the play—including the opening monologue, listing what the soldiers carried—felt rushed.
I wonder if the stage is the best venue for expressing such loaded, powerful language? Also, this was my first time at 1st Stage and I have to admit, it was very mediocre and not what I expected at all for a theater in Tysons.
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I saw the play 37 weeks pregnant and the AC was barely functioning in the theater, and there was only one operating bathroom in the house. DC Metro Theater Arts. Reviews Theater. Photo courtesy of 1st Stage. Buy Tickets. September 20, June 24, Follow us on Instagram dcmetrotheaterarts.