Chapter 21, Night Life Notes from The Things They Carried

Tim O'Brien
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The Things They Carried Chapter 21, Night Life

Tim hears about how Rat Kiley got hurt. The men had been traveling only at night, because they had heard rumors about increasing dangers from the enemy. They tried to sleep during the day, and they walked at night, which in Vietnam is unbelievably dark. Everyone in the platoon was affected by this, but Rat Kiley could not deal with it. He believed that giant bugs are hunting him. He clawed at his skin. Everyone was sad to see this, but it almost seemed normal in their situation. One day Rat told Mitchell Sanders that he was frightening himself. He couldn't stop wondering what people's internal organs looked like. He knew it was bizarre, but he couldn't help himself. He even saw his own body, blown to bits. He knew it had to end. The next morning, he shot himself in the foot. No one blamed him, and they gave him warm and sad good byes.

Topic Tracking: Bravery 9
Topic Tracking: Effects of War 9

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