The Things They Carried Quotes

Tim O'Brien
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The Things They Carried Quotes

Quote 1: "Whenever he looked at the photographs, he thought of new things he should have done." Chapter 1, pg. 5

Quote 2: "Oh shit, the guy's dead." Chapter 1, pg. 13

Quote 3: "there it is." Chapter 1, pg. 14

Quote 4: "By daylight they took sniper fire, at night they were mortared, but it was not battle, it was just the endless march, village to village, without purpose, nothing won or lost." Chapter 1, pg. 15

Quote 5: "On occasions the war was like a Ping-Pong ball. You could put a fancy spin on it, you could make it dance." Chapter 3, pg. 32

Quote 6: "Mellow, man. We got ourselves a nice mellow war today." Chapter 3, pg. 33

Quote 7: "All that peace, man, it felt so good it hurt. I want to hurt it back." Chapter 3, pg. 35

Quote 8: "My conscience told me to run, but some irrational and powerful force was resisting, like a weight pushing me toward the war. What it came down to, stupidly, was a sense of shame." Chapter 4, pg. 52

Quote 9: "Right then, with the shore so close, I understood that I would not do what I should do." Chapter 4, pg. 57

Quote 10: "I survived, but it's not a happy ending. I was a coward. I went to the war." Chapter 4, pg. 61

Quote 11: "If at the end of a war story you feel uplifted, or if you feel that some small bit of rectitude has been salvaged from the larger waste, then you have been made the victim of a very old and terrible lie." Chapter 6, pg. 68

Quote 12: "[A]nd the whole war is right there in that stare. It says everything you can't ever say." Chapter 7, pg. 75

Quote 13: "Well, that's Nam. Garden of Evil. Over here, man, every sin's fresh and original." Chapter 7, pg. 80

Quote 14: "It's safe to say that in a true war story nothing is ever absolutely true." Chapter 7, pg. 82

Quote 15: "It wasn't a question of deceit. Just the opposite; he wanted to heat up the truth, to make it burn so hot that you would feel exactly what he felt." Chapter 9, pg. 89

Quote 16: "Tone? I didn't know it was all that complicated. The girl joined the zoo. One more animal--end of story." Chapter 9, pg. 107

Quote 17: , "When I'm out there at night, I feel close to my own body, I can feel my blood moving, my skin and my fingernails, everything, it's like I'm full of electricity and I'm glowing in the dark--I'm on fire almost--I'm burning away to nothing--but it doesn't matter because I know exactly where I am." Chapter 9, pg. 111

Quote 18: "No sweat. The magic doesn't go away." Chapter 10, pg. 118

Quote 19: "Oh man, you fuckin' trashed the fucker. You scrambled his sorry self, look at that, you did, you laid him out like fuckin' Shredded Wheat." Chapter 12, pg. 125

Quote 20: "All right then, dance right." Chapter 14, pg. 136

Quote 21: "[The town] had no memory, therefore no guilt....It did not know shit about shit, and did not care to know." Chapter 15, pg. 143

Quote 22: "That night when Kiowa got wasted, I sort of sank down into the sewage with him" Chapter 16, pg. 156

Quote 23: "He'd lost Kiowa and his weapon and his flashlight and his girlfriend's picture. He remembered this. He remembered wondering if he could lose himself." Chapter 17, pg. 171

Quote 24: "I want you to feel what I felt. I want you to know why story-truth is truer sometimes than happening-truth." Chapter 18, pg. 179

Quote 25: "You're a shadow. You slip out of your own skin, like molting, shedding your own history and your own future, leaving behind everything you ever were or wanted or believed in." Chapter 20, pg. 211

Quote 26: "It had all the shadings and complexities of mature adult love, and maybe more, because there were not yet words for it, and because it was not yet fixed to comparisons or chronologies or the ways by which adults measure such things. I just loved her." Chapter 22, pg. 228

Quote 27: "I should've stepped in; fourth grade is no excuse. Besides, it doesn't get easier with time, and twelve years later, when Vietnam presented much harder choices, some practice at being brave might've helped." Chapter 22, pg. 234

Quote 28: "It lasted only a moment, but I had the feeling that a whole conversation was happening between us. Well? She was saying, and I was saying, Sure, okay." Chapter 22, pg. 235

Quote 29: "And as a writer now, I want to save Linda's life. Not her body--her life." Chapter 22, pg. 236

Quote 30: "Once you're alive, you can't ever be dead." Chapter 22, pg. 244

Quote 31: "I'm skimming across the surface of my own history, moving fast, riding the melt beneath the blades, doing loops and spins, and when I take a high leap into the dark and come down thirty years later, I realize it is as Tim trying to save Timmy's life with a story." Chapter 22, pg. 246

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