The Things They Carried Essay Topics & Writing Assignments

Tim O'Brien
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Essay Topic 1

"The Things They Carried: A Work of Fiction" is described as 22 short stories tied into a novel. Select a chapter from the novel and explain how the title relates to the story, and evaluate if the chapter could stand alone as a short story. Identify its weaknesses and strengths and how it fulfills or fails to satisfy the requirements of a story: beginning, middle and end.

Essay Topic 2

Although the book is labeled "a work of fiction," it reads very similar to a memoir- a recollection of events and people from the author's past. Explain any indications that Tim O'Brien may not be a trustworthy narrator. Where in the text are there signs he is leaving something out, or passages where the reader should second-guess his account? Are there particular passages where a reader may be more likely to believe O'Brien's narrative? Use no less than...

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