Essays on The Things They Carried

The Things They Carried
Original title The Things They Carried
Author Tim O'Brien
Genre Historical Fiction
Language English
Characters The Things They Carried is a collection of short stories, so it does not have a traditional list of characters However, the stories are all centered around the Vietnam War, the soldiers who fought in it
Published March 28, 1990
ISBN 0-385-48811-8
Book Summary
Essay Examples

Table of Contents

About The Things They Carried Book

After growing up in rural Minnesota in the 1950s, Tim O’Brien served in the Vietnam War as a foot soldier in 1969 and has since won numerous literary awards for his nine books of fiction. Since its 1990 publication, The Things They Carried, a novel about the author’s experiences during World War II, has sold more than two million copies worldwide.

According to the author of the things they carry, many American soldiers’ experiences in Vietnam are accurately depicted in this nonchronological compilation of fictional scenarios.

Alpha Company’s troops carry personal possessions such as weapons, ammo, food, letters, good-luck charms, pantyhose, and severed thumbs. However, their mental burden is greater than their physical burden.

Book Summary

Ted Lavender is assassinated in “The Things They Carried” while Jimmy Cross fantasizes about Martha. In “On the Rainy River,” the narrator escapes to Elroy Berdahl’s fishing lodge to decide whether to go to war.

Curt Lemon dies from a grenade explosion, and Rat Kiley tortures a baby water buffalo in “How to Tell a True War Story.” The soldier’s teen sweetheart travels to Vietnam in “Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong” and becomes entangled.

In “Ambush,” the narrator kills a man. In stories 15 and 17, Kiowa drowns in a mud field during an attack. The narrator of “The Ghost Soldiers” seeks revenge on a field medic for mistreating a combat wound.

In 22 plot of the things they carried, the narrator remembers a nine-year-old acquaintance and thinks about memory, death, and storytelling. In each story, the narrator reflects on writing and truth. These reflections grow entangled with the narrative, confusing the reader about what’s “real” and what’s fantasy. Students should always read the summary of the things they carried before they start writing!

The Things They Carried Quotes

This book has a distinct message from other war books. ‘The Things They Carried’ Instead of writing about the battle directly, O’Brien focuses on the stories troops tell and their influence on others. Here are a few quotes from the stories.

  •     “A true war story is never moral. It does not instruct, nor encourage virtue, nor suggest models of proper human behavior, nor restrain men from doing the things men have always done. If a story seems moral, do not believe it.”
  •     “This was not Mount Sebastian, it was another world, where there were no pretty poems or midterm exams, a place where men died because of carelessness and gross stupidity. Kiowa was right. Boom – down, and you were dead. Never partly dead.”
  •     “Like a killer forest fire, like cancer under a microscope, any battle or artillery barrage has the aesthetic purity of absolute moral indifference – a powerful, implacable beauty – and a true war story will tell the truth about this, though the truth is ugly.”
  •     “If at the end of a war story you feel uplifted, or if you feel that some small bit of rectitude has been salvaged from the larger waste, then you have been made the victim of a very old and terrible lie.”

Essay Structure On The Things They Carried

An outline is an essential component of any piece of academic writing. As a direct consequence of this, our ideas’ organization and the precision of the information have been improved. If you want to write a masterpiece, always understand the things they carried meaning and include the following elements in your outline:


An essay’s opening paragraph is crucial because it must catch the reader’s attention and demonstrate the topic’s importance. Put some background information on the issue or explain why you’ve chosen to investigate it once you’ve written a hook. Make sure to cite any incidents you use in this section that happened in real life.


It is the section of your essay where you should go into the most depth and provide the most value to the reader. In this section, every one of your points has to be supported by the study you carried out.

Only one primary thought should be presented in each paragraph, and the connections between the paragraphs should be smooth.


Your essay about The Things They Carried ought to have an interesting and thought-provoking conclusion to make the reader want to continue reading.

At the end of your essay on “The Things They Carried,” you must emphasize the most significant themes you have discussed throughout the paper. By relating what you’ve started to a more general setting, you can motivate your audience to take action.

Tips To Consider While Writing An Essay About The Things They Carried

Creating an essay on Tim O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried” collection of short stories is tough and rewarding.

You’ll discover all you need to compose an essay about this masterwork on this page. In composing an essay on the subject of The Things They Carried, keep the following suggestions in mind:

Read The Book Thoroughly

For writing the Things They Carried summary, It would help if you read them all, no matter how many short summaries you have already seen. Focusing on the most crucial components of the story without being distracted by extraneous distractions gives you a clear picture of the story.

Reading and evaluating relevant stuff must be done before anything further can be done. Your bibliography should include Internet sources and encyclopedias, books, and newspapers. Because they provide credence to the question, they should be accurate.

Find A Compelling Topic

Read the book carefully, and as you go through it, highlight any passages that you believe might be relevant to your research topic. Consider some options for concepts you could implement.

If it doesn’t work for you, look at some of our sample essays on The Things They Carried to get some ideas. Take into consideration a few different options. Before changing the title’s length, you must determine what works best for your paper, regardless of how long or short the titles are.

 Create The Outline

Making preparations in advance is critical. It ensures that the activity is done on time and that no dumb mistakes are made. When an outline is in place, it’s easier to see the general structure, data requirements, and deadlines.

Brainstorming and putting out a rough outline are two good ways to write an essay. You should make your proposal and supporting documents available online. Before you begin writing, spend five minutes brainstorming a list of possible topics.

Write The Thesis Statement

Take a look at the topic you’ve been assigned and think about the issue you want to address in your article.

From the following options, select the best strategy for your content: Which came first: the symbolism, the themes, or the literary study of The Things They Carried?

Include A Lesson Or Moral

The message or lesson a reader takes away from a story, an event, a character, or anything else is called the “moral.” As a result of the fact that the moral is contingent on the reader, various readers may find slightly different morals within the same piece of literature.

In the Vietnam War, he tells the stories of many of his fellow soldiers. It compares American soldiers’ physical and emotional burdens with their Vietnamese compatriots.

As a work of fiction and a work of history, The Things They Carried is lauded for its skillful melding of fact and is The Things They Carried fiction in its representation of the Vietnam War.

Conclusion: Proofread Your Work

It is important to perform multiple readings of the document to ensure that it is free of errors and smooth transitions between paragraphs. Correct the text’s spelling, grammar, and punctuation using appropriate methods.

It would be best to strive for a conclusion that flows easily from one idea to another. You’ll need to do this to give the impression of having a more open mind. Also, please read the book as the things they carried online book free reading!

If like many other students, you are also facing issues in essay writing, we are here to assist you. Our professionals can provide you with the things they carried scholarly articles and also the things they carried test reviews if you need them.

Frequently Asked Questions:

     I.        What is the message of The Things They Carried?

It’s about the weights we carry in The Things They Carried. In this first chapter, we learn about the men’s burdens on the march: weapons, equipment, photos, and messages, as well as the emotions of hope and horror.

    II.        Is The Things They Carried A True Story?

An insightful look into the wartime realities of Vietnam-era foot soldiers and their families, Things They Carried is a must-read. One book contains a narrative of the author’s time spent fighting in combat, the author’s autobiography, and a collection of the author’s short stories.

   III.        Why is The Things They Carried controversial?

To the disappointment of teachers and parents in George County in Mississippi, Mississippi, the book was eventually placed on the “Banned Books” list because of its “inappropriate for an educational context” (according to school board members), profanity, sexual content, and violence.

   IV.        Is The Things They Carried Worth Reading?

“The Things They Carried” (1990) by Tim O’Brien is widely regarded as one of the best books written about Vietnam. Rather than an account of American military triumph, this is a story about the humanity of the American soldier, full of raw honesty and reflective meditation.

Save Time On Research and Writing
Hire a Pro to Write You a 100% Plagiarism-Free Paper.
Get My Paper
We've found 41 essay samples about The Things They Carried
1 of 2Next

FAQ about The Things They Carried

How to Tell a True War Story: Analysis on the Beauty of Writing?
...O’Brien often marks out that the story is “true”, but the way he illustrates the surroundings to the readers makes it seem unrealistic. Thus, the true war story seems irrelevant. O’Brien’s improbable statements regarding the war experiences...
The Things They Carried: Why and What?
...The aesthetic value of O'Brien unorthodox approach is unmistakable but in focusing on the style he ignores the fundamental reasons why the war occurred in the first place. As well as America's role in the destruction of nation and it's people. The Vi...
Commentary How to Tell True War Story
...The ultimate example of this is the heroic story of a man throwing himself onto a grenade to save his comrades. Whether or not anyone survives, “Absolute occurrence is irrelevant. A thing may happen and by a total lie; another thing may not happen ...
Live chat  with support 24/7