The Things They Carried Summary & Study Guide

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.
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"The Things They Carried" recounts the experiences of Lieutenant Jimmy Cross's infantry unit leading up to and following the death of one of the men, Ted Lavender, on April 16. A third-person narrator describes the individual soldiers by the items that they carry with them.

Lt. Jimmy Cross, the main character and platoon leader, carries the letters he receives from Martha, a sophomore English major at St. Sebastian's College in New Jersey. He uses the letters, photographs, and the small stone she has sent him as a way of connecting to the world outside of Vietnam. Though he is distracted and dreamy, he also carries "the responsibility for the lives of his men."

The other men in the platoon carry personal effects and good luck charms. The also share the burdens of combat, distributing the necessary equipment and weapons among them. Henry Dobbins, for example, the biggest man in...

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This section contains 539 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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.