The Things They Carried

why did Azar make fun of the dancing girl later back at camp? more importantly, why do you think Dobbins' defended her?

its from the book the things they carried

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In the chapter entitled "Style," the company enters a burnt-down compound full of dead bodies. They find only one living person. She is a fourteen year old, dancing by herself. There is no music. Azar thinks she is performing some strange funeral rite. Dobbins thinks she was dancing just because she likes to dance. On the way out of the village, Azar imitates her dance, pretending that it had been erotic. Dobbins picks up Azar and brings him to the edge of a river. He says that Azar had better stop if he doesn't want to get thrown into the river.


Azar was acting in a way that completely ignored and disrespected the emotion of grief. He showed himself to be heartless and uncaring that the girl had lost everyone who's ever meant anything to her or that she was mourning. Dobbins defended her because he was compassionate to her plight and because his friend was a real idiot.

Henry Dobbins picked him up and holed over a well, asking Azar if he'd like to be dumped in a deep well. Azar does not and Dobbin says, then "dance right."