The Things They Carried

Why do you think O'Brein choose to include this story about a young girl, named Linda, in this collection? What does it accomplish?

"The Lives of the Dead"

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Linda was O'Brien's young "girlfriend" from elementary school, who dies of a brain tumor. When O'Brien is trying to decide whether to escape to Canada, he imagines Linda watching him. She is very much a function of memory, love, and death. These themes are repeated throughout the novel. Love and death follow similar narratives an Linda reminds O'Brien that the link exists outside of the war as well.