Introduction & Overview of The Things They Carried

Tim O'Brien
This Study Guide consists of approximately 53 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Things They Carried.
This section contains 190 words
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The Things They Carried Summary & Study Guide Description

The Things They Carried Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Further Reading and a Free Quiz on The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien.

First published in Esquire in August, 1986, and later collected in The Best American Short Stories 1987, "The Things They Carried" became the lead story in a book of the same name published in 1990 by Viking Penguin. Since Tim O'Brien had already established himself as a literary voice to be reckoned with, this collection of interrelated stories received a great deal of attention. The book quickly established O'Brien as one of the leading figures in Vietnam literature.

Critics and readers alike have paid considerable attention to the question of whether the events in the book are literally true or products of O'Brien's imagination. Though O'Brien has made it clear in interviews that he believes the truth in literature has nothing to do with what actually happened, the similarities between his writing and his experience in Vietnam are striking. When O'Brien published the disturbing and confessional article "The Vietnam in Me" in the New York Times Magazine in 1994, he sparked renewed interest in the connections between his life and his writing. His last two novels are set in the United States but still prominently feature the Vietnam veteran's experience.

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This section contains 190 words
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Short Stories for Students
The Things They Carried from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.