Essay Topics: The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien - Book Report Ideas|
THE THINGS THEY CARRIED: FREE STUDY GUIDE
1) According to O’Brien, what is the difference between story-truth
and the real truth? What examples from the novel help explain this distinction?
2) How does the author’s notion of courage change over the course
of the novel? What does he think courage is before the war, and how does
he view it now?
3) O’Brien maintains that his writing is not a form of therapy.
What purpose does it serve in his life? How did he make the transition
from military to civilian life so easily when Norman Bowker found it so
4) How is O’Brien’s portrayal of Lieutenant Cross a commentary
on the Commanding Officers in Vietnam?
5) In WWII the average age of an American GI was 26; in Vietnam
it was 19. What characters or examples in the novel are a reflection of
this younger army?
6) Explain the paradox of the following quote: “I survived, but
it’s not a happy ending. I was a coward. I went to the war.”
7) Explain why Azar refers to the conflict in Vietnam as ‘fantasyland’?
(page 204) Why do the soldiers sometimes feels as if they’re all actors?
Why do they have difficulty distinguishing what is real?
8) Explain the symbolism of Mary Anne Bell. How is she transformed
after arriving in Vietnam?
9) Explain the significance of the books title. What are the
soldiers carrying and how does it affect them?
10) Who does O’Brien blame for the war? The government? The USA? Ho
Chi Minh? Himself? How is assigning blame for the war different than assigning
blame for an individual death?
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Strate, Shane. "TheBestNotes on The Things They Carried".
. 09 May 2017