Day 4

The Things They Carried Lesson Plan

Discussion of Thought Questions

  1. 1

    Why does the story "Speaking of Courage" use the conditional (“He would have said…")? Why didn't Norman Bowker actually tell the story he had to tell?

    Norman Bowker chooses not to share his story with his father, or with anyone else in the town, because "the place could only blink and shrug." The detailed imagined conversation with his father shows that his father would struggle to understand the ambiguities of Norman's experiences and feelings. In Norman's small town in the Midwest following the war, he struggles to place his epxerience: the gruesome things he had seen contrast too strongly with the pleasantries of small-town life.

  2. 2

    How did the story "Speaking of...

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