The Things They Carried

Please expect to provide two to three sentences in response to each question. Although responses will be evaluated based on thoughtfulness rather than length, it may take at least a few sentences to fully share your developed ideas.

1/ Select one of the main characters from “The Things They Carried” and explain the significance of at least two of the things that soldier carries. These may be tangible things (letters, a slingshot, ammunition, etc.) or intangible things (fear, regret, sickness, etc.). In explaining the significance of the items you identify, you might consider the significance of those items for that character and/or in the reader’s experience and understanding of the story overall?

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Tim O’Brien: “The Things They Carried” (pp. 322-337)…

2/ How does “The Things They Carried” capture something about the specific experience of the soldier in Vietnam (or war in general), AND how might we understand the story as depicting the struggles of the human experience more broadly?

Tim O’Brien: “The Things They Carried” (pp. 322-337)…

3/ The short story “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” includes A LOT of detail and description. Why do you think the author includes so many details, like when Farquhar supposedly surfaces after breaking free from the noose and falling into the water? What’s the purpose/function of such in-depth descriptions in the story?

4/ What did you think of the film version of “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” (the link for which, along with the story itself, was provided under the “Assigned Readings” tab in Module 2)? Which medium, the text or the film version, presented the story in a more compelling and effective way? Why?

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