The Things They Carried - Chapter 16 Summary & Analysis

Tim O'Brien
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Chapter 16 Summary

Tim begins "Notes" by saying that "Speaking of Courage was written at the suggestion of Norman Bowker, who hanged himself three years later. Norman, it seems, had written a letter to Tim, telling him he had tried a series of jobs, and had even enrolled in community college for a short time, but that nothing ever felt real or tangible, and that he always wound up quitting. He was spending his time driving around town and playing basketball at the Y, and he felt he just couldn't get his act together. He wants Tim to write a story about a guy who can't let go of what happened in that field of muck, a guy who wants to talk about it but can't.

Tim realizes he has been overly smug, believing he had left the war behind him because he didn't really dwell on it in everyday...

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This section contains 450 words
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The Things They Carried from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.