The Things They Carried - Study Guide Chapter 9 Summary & Analysis

Tim O'Brien
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This chapter centers on a story told by Rat Kiley. First, though, Tim has to explain that Rat Kiley was prone to exaggeration, that he tended to, "heat up the truth ... [so] that you would feel exactly what he felt." For Rat, "facts were formed by perception, not the other way around." For this story, though, Rat never backed down. Mitchell Sanders was disbelieving - nobody could just fly their girlfriend into Vietnam - but Rat insisted he had seen it with his own eyes, a pretty young girl in a pink sweater and white culottes.

Rat had started out his service in Vietnam in a medical unit near Tra Bong. It was bloody work, but not very dangerous, and there were no officers, so it was a pretty stress-free set-up. Nearby is a camp of Green Berets, but they do not socialize and are more like...

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This section contains 1,441 words
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Buy The Things They Carried Study Guide
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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.