The Question and Answer section for The Things They Carried is a great resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
Obrien's stories are fictional. They are loosely based on events and people he has known but many of his stories, especially this one, are highly stylized version of events that may or may not have happened.
“On the Rainy River” contains the main existential and moral crisis of the book. The turning point at the river is a classic Freudian scene. The boy wants to jump out of the boat, his ego and his id (his authentic desires) strain to go. But his...