A) Writing a 300 words essay. Consider the viewpoints on war in “The Things They Carried.” O’Brien describes a war in which there was little leadership and much aimlessness. His focus is the equipment the men carried, and how that equipment reflected both their experiences at war and their former experiences at home. How does the protagonist change during the story? How does his relationship to his “things” change in the story? Why? What does this story tell us about the Vietnam War from the American perspective? How is your understanding of this story impacted by learning about the war The Gangster We Are All Looking For and Daughter from Danang?
B) Answer Questions:
- What is the effect of O’Brien’s use of abbreviations and acronyms: R&R, SOP, M&Ms, USO, Psy Ops, KIA?
- When the author writes, “Afterward they burned Than Khe,” what is he telling us about the attitude of the men toward the people in the villages around them?
- Why is it important to specify the weight of the equipment each man is carry-
- Does the language of the soldiers sound “real”? Do the descriptions of the
weapons have the feeling of reality?
- Why does the lieutenant burn the letters he has been carrying?
7.Soldiers from both sides are fighting the war, but the author only tells us about the men from one side. Why doesn’t he describe the North Vietnamese soldiers?
8.Discuss the attitudes toward the war in the United States as they are reflected in the attitudes of the soldiers in “The Things They Carried.”
9.Stories about men at war usually emphasize heroism and heroic acts; these are completely absent in this story. What has caused this change in attitude?