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St Francis College History The Things They Carried Story Questions


Read the short story excerpt The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien in order to participate in this discussion. Post at least THREE times.

discussion post questions:

1. What is so significant about the “things” carried in this account of US soldiers in Vietnam? Compare the “things” carried by the US soldiers to that carried by the Vietnamese soldier. What’s the significance of this comparison? What’s the irony

2. What is your impression of the scene where Dobbins asks about “the moral” only to determine “there ain’t no moral.”? (Moral as in moral/lesson of the story, or plain old morals as in proper ethical behavior.) What do you think the author meant by “story” here? The moral of what story overall? In what way does this scene express the views of O’Brien (who served in Vietnam) about the war and what he wants the reader to see about US involvement?

3. What is O’Brien saying in the final passage of this excerpt: “…the resupply choppers would arrive with more of the same, then a day or two later still more, fresh watermelons and crates of ammunition and sunglasses and woolen sweaters-the resources were stunning -sparklers for the Fourth of July, colored eggs for Easter. It was the great American war chest-the fruits of sciences, the smokestacks, the canneries, the arsenals at Hartford, the Minnesota forests, the machine shops, the vast fields of corn and wheat they carried like freight trains.”


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