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He carries photos and letters from the girl he loves back home in New Jersey, who doesn't love him back.
He carries extra rations and wears his girlfriend's pantyhose tied around his neck.
Before Tim O'Brien was drafted into the army, he had what some would consider an all-American childhood.
Yet another story tells of a soldier back from the war who drives his Chevy around his Iowa hometown, struggling to find meaning in his new life.
Central to the book is O'Brien's unique style, which blurs the lines between fact and fiction, then examines how and why he does just that.
Feel free to change, adapt, improve on these as you desire (though I'd appreciate your letting me know so I can take advantage of your brilliance).
"Abstraction may make your head believe, but a good story, well told, will also make your kidneys believe, and your scalp and your tear ducts, your heart, and your stomach, the whole human being." —from The Things They Carried , Tim O’Brien had what some would call a typical 1950s American childhood in rural Minnesota before he was sent to fight in Vietnam as a foot soldier in 1969., prepared for students of writing, not of literature, although I invite you to be the judge as to their value for either enterprise.Note that these materials have been used with students of Developmental Writing, but can easily be adapted, or used outright, for students at other levels of writing expertise.He was born on October 1, 1946, in Austin, Minnesota, and raised in Worthington, a small prairie town in the southern part of the state.His mother was an elementary school teacher, his father an insurance salesman and sailor in World War II.Tim O'Brien is the narrator who never wanted to fight in the Vietnam War and remains haunted by memories even 20 years after he returns to America.First Lieutenant Jimmy Cross is a solitary, pensive platoon leader who cares about his men.The title story describes what the soldiers must lug with them—both literally and figuratively—as they march: food, canteens, flak jackets, and weapons, as well as grief, terror, secrets, and memories.In another story, O'Brien tells of a young medic who brings his high-school sweetheart to his aid station in the mountains of Vietnam, chronicling her transformation from an innocent girl in a pink sweater to a cold night stalker who dons a necklace of human tongues.He carries a diary and a thumb cut from a Viet Cong corpse.Henry Dobbins is a large, strong, dependable, unsophisticated machine gunner.