The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Short Stories - The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien Summary & Analysis

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The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien Summary

The Things They Carried is a story about the Vietnam War, and more especially the death of Ted Lavender. The story describes the characters of numerous soldiers, focusing especially on First Lieutenant Jimmy Cross, who is obsessed with a college girl named Martha who writes to him. The story details the things that they literally carry, from their equipment to their personal effects. Cross has Martha's letters, which he obsesses over, as well as a stone she sent him for good luck. The story is told through these lists and descriptions of the things they carry, and finally tells of Lavender's death, when he went off to urinate and was killed by the enemy as all the men were not paying attention. Cross realizes that he will never end up with Martha, blaming himself for...

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This section contains 254 words
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Buy The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Short Stories Study Guide
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