The Things They Carried

Why does O'Brien write about what everyone carried?

On the second page of the book he tells us what everyone carries and uses repetition.  Why does he do this? What truth does reaveal.


Asked by
Last updated by jill d #170087
Answers 1
Add Yours

O'Brien's novel doesn't focus on the physical things that were carried by the soldiers, but the emotional things as well. His characters carry the modern implements of war. But the feeling evoked is similar: static lists make the characters seem already dead, prematurely mourned. The lists are like wills. The truth of what they carry conveys their feeling and apprehension..... those are the things that make them more than soldiers. They make them human.