The Things They Carried By Tim O'Brien. Mariner Chapters: “The Things They Carried”. 1. “Love”. “Spin”. “On the Rainy River”. “Enemies”. The things they carried were largely determined by necessity. Among the necessities or medical-site.info pdf. The Things They Carried. Tim O'Brien. This book is lovingly dedicated to the men of Alpha Company, and in particular to Jimmy Cross, Norman Bowker, Rat.
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O'Brien'sThe Things They Carried By Jill ColellaIN THIS BOOK □Learn about the life and background of Tim O'Brien. The Things They Carried. Tim O'Brien. In: The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Short Stories. Vintage Books, Editorial Reviews. medical-site.info Review. "They carried all the emotional baggage of men who might die. Grief, terror, love, longing--these were intangibles, but.
The book was taken is applied to a bad childhood or a broken home, and these are the things theyre carrying.
And in a way, it's extremely flattering, and other times, it can be depressing. I had a kid come up to me not long ago, though a book-signing line and say, yours is the only book I've ever finished. And of course, it was meant in a flattering way, and I took it that way, but in the back of my mind, I thought, God, all the pleasure that this kid has denied himself.
It opens a door. Some of these kids is the wrong word.
It sounds, you know, sort of derogatory. These human beings who are young, a door's been closed to them through their own doing or that of their parents or their schools.
Who knows why? And if a book can open that gateway or that doorway and encourage someone to find the pleasures of reading, then what a great thing to have accomplished in your life. I'm a professor and I've been teaching your novel for six years now and consistently fall in love with it every time I read it. What I would like to know is: What is the single most important message you would like your readers to take away from the novel?
I say that because you are Azar. Soundbite of laughter Mr. Oh goodness, to take one thing away, it's a little bit like having a piece of cloth, you know, unravel a strand and the cloth dissolves as you look at the strand. The goal, I suppose, any fiction writer has, no matter what your subject, is to hit the human heart and the tear ducts and the nape of the neck and to make a person feel something about the characters are going through and to experience the moral paradoxes and struggles of being human.
And in a way, for me, although on the surface, of course, it is a book about war, it's I've never thought of it, really, that way in my heart. Even when I was writing it, it seemed to be a book about storytelling and the burdens we all accumulate through our lives, our moms and dads and backyards, teachers, which I mean, my dad died, I don't know, four years ago, and he is as gone as anybody I knew in Vietnam.
But like the ghosts of Vietnam, all I need do is, you know, close my eyes a moment and there he is throwing me a baseball. And there's something about carrying the image of him, the symbol, the emblem of carrying that, at least in my experience, is pretty important to being human, I mean. CONAN: We're talking about "The Things They Carried," and we're asking veterans to call us today to tell us about the things they carried and the things they continue to carry, And we'll begin with Jeff ph , Jeff calling us from Des Moines.
I was there in , , and there's never really thought about it, but there's three things I carry with me every day. I still wear my dog tags every day. I'm retired now. And I've got a P can opener from JEFF: cord is a nylon cord that if you've ever been in the infantry, it's got a million-and-one uses, probably some I haven't learned yet, but pretty much every infantry that I was ever in JEFF: Yeah, probably, probably.
But I wear a suit and tie every day, and a lot of people comment that that's a little jarring to see a piece of green nylon braided into a wristband on my wrist, but I wear it every day, so - just to remember that time, so JEFF: You know, I think it's because I was in the military for so long, I hope nobody takes offense at this, but that's a completely different world than the civilian world.
And it reminds me of all of my experiences in the past and a lot of good memories. So, I don't know.
It's habit now, but JEFF: You bet, thank you. You don't still have your P, do you, Tim?
You're right, that thing worked, and most of the can openers I use these days, you know, break in three minutes. Terry's ph on the line, Terry with us from Gainesville. And the last three months, I managed to get a job as the door gunner on an observation ship and I got hit carrying a marine artillery observer out of Da Nang. You know, I'd like to say that one of the things that I still carry is the wonder that people voted to keep us there.
I came back and joined Vietnam Veterans Against the War, and I found that you couldn't tell anybody what you had witnessed. Without having some experience, it just, they either didn't want to hear it or they couldn't relate to it. But the people that sent us there and kept us there, I count Johnson and Nixon and Kissinger and the rest of them, they knew that we weren't there to do anything but have a geopolitical influence on the Russians.
Unfortunately, I didn't do a research project on why we were in Vietnam until after I got back, and the reasons were not what they told us. A lot of Tim O'Brien's book is about war stories and how, if you if they sound believable, they're almost certainly not.
Way to go th. And my memories are much like yours, and I think I carry with me the same thing you're carrying. It's 20 years since "The Things They Carried" hit the store shelves. We'll talk more with author Tim O'Brien in just a moment. We also want to hear from veterans today. I'm Neal Conan. Stay with us. More than two million copies of "The Things They Carried" have sold since It's been read and passed around by countless veterans from Vietnam to the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Tim O'Brien's book has also been optioned for a film, but so far it's not made it to the big screen. Now to mark the 20th anniversary, a new hardcover edition is out. To read a selection about the acidic boredom of war, you can go to our Web site at npr.
Tim O'Brien is with us here in Studio 3A. We want to hear from veterans today. And let's go next to Rich, and Rich is with us from Sunman in Indiana. I actually carry two things personally. I do have a P, and I also have what Air Force crew chiefs called a church key, which was your normal, everyday, metal can opener. But the things that I don't personally carry, but I used to carry every day, were the coffins coming back from Vietnam, the nuclear warheads coming back out of I guess I can say it today, Subic Bay, because we used to catch them at Barbers Point Naval Air Station outside of Hickam Air Force Base.
And the nights that I spent at Dover during the first Gulf War with , to , pounds of JP4 on a C-5 and 30 to 40, pounds of small arms and rocket ammunitions or motors, and you would see the lightning and then all of a sudden JP4 is jet fuel, by the way. RICH: You can't refuel anymore, you know?
It's hard to believe, isn't it, Rich? I was just talking with Tim O'Brien, just before we started on the show, that it was 20 years after his tour that he wrote this book. It's 20 years since then, but it's almost 20 years since the first Gulf War. It's almost hard to believe. I mean, I went in as a kid. I entered the Air Force in , my senior year of high school, and then I went back, joined the Reserves and was in the Reserves for about 18 months, got called up, I believe it was in September of to go active duty during the first Gulf War.
You, you back then you didn't think about it, but then that was when I was 17, 18, 19, Now you get up to 35, and you say, man, you know, I could be gone in a split second. I mean, we did lose a bird at Dover, got hit with lightning, and it tore the wing off between Number 2 and Number 3 engine, you know?
That is the reminder that is consistent in your book, not just the what you then considered an old man looking back you're a much older man now but the incredible youth of, well, you and the others in Alpha Company.
I mean, looking back on it, these were 19, 20, year-olds. People who at the time looked ancient to me turned out to be 27 or It's I think it's an important reminder for all of us that those who do our killing and our dying, they're not kids exactly, but they're not they're certainly not mature adults who have been schooled by life and what life can deliver to us.
And that is a lesson probably worth tucking away. My step-brother was. I made a knife sheath for him out of leather that held his fixed-blade knife, and it had another compartment for a pair of needle-nose pliers that he found useful for a variety of purposes. I could imagine how that could be useful.
Let's see if we can go next to this is Daniel, Daniel with us from Greenville in Tennessee. At the time I was a year-old kid and I picked up there and I've carried since an empathy for other people's suffering. And now I currently work in the mental health field, and I want to thank Mr. To carry something was to hump it, as when Lieutenant jimmy Cross humped his love for Martha up the hills and through '1" swamps. In its intransitive form, to hump meant to walk, 01"" march, but it implied burdens far beyond the intransitive.
Almost everyone humped photographs. She 5! The Things They Carried. Her eyes were my and neutral, her. At night, Lieutenant Cross wondered who had taken the picture because he knew she had boyfriends, because he loved her so much and because he could see the shadow of the picture-taker sprehding out against the brick wall. The second plwtogaph had been clipped from the Mount Sebastian yearbook. There was no visible sweat. She wore white gym shorts. Her legs, he thought, were almost certainly the legs of a virgin, dry and without hair, the left knee cocked and carrying her entire weight, which was just over one hundred pounds.
He re- membered kissing her good night at the dorm door. He should've risked it. Whenever he looked at the photographs, he thought of new things he should've done. What they carried was partly a function of rank, partly of field specialty.
He carried a strobe light and the responsibility for the lives of his men. The w weighed 7. When it was available, they minimum. A single round weighed 10 Ounces, The typical load was 25 rounds.
He was dead weight. There was no twitching or flopping. Nothing else. It was a bright morning in mid—April. Lieutenant Cross felt the pain. He blamed himself. They stripped OH Lavender's canteens and ammo, all the heavy things, and Rat Kiley said the obvious, the guy's dead, and Mitchell Sanders used his radio to report one US.
KIA and to request a chopper. Then they wrapped Lavender in his poncho. They carried him out to a dry paddy, established se- curity, and sat smoking the dead man's dope unti came.
Lieutenant Cross kept to himself. He pictured M smooth young face, thinking he loved her more than anything. They marched until dusk, the d. Lee Strunk earned a slingshot; a weapon of last resort, he called it. Mitchell Sanders mm'ed brass knuckles. KiOWa carried his grandfather's feathered hatchet.
Every third or fourth man carried a Claymore antipersonnel minH. They all ean'ied fragmentation grenades—14 ounces each. Some carried CS or tear gas grenades. Some carried white phosphorus grenades. They carried all they could bear, and then some, including a silent awe for the terrible power of the things they carried.
In the accompanying letter, Martha wrote that she had found the pebble on the jersey shoreline, precisely where the land touched water at high tide, where things me together but also separated.
It was this separate-but-together quality, she wrote. Lieutenant Cross found this romantic. But he wondered what her truest feelings were. He imagined a pair of shadows moving along the strip of sand where things came together but also separated, lt W phantom jealousy, he knew, but he couldnt help himself, He lOVed her so much.
On the march, through the hot days of early April, he carried the pebble in his mouth, turning it with his longue, tasting sea salt and moisture.
His mind wandered. He had dilli. On occasion he WOuld yell at his men to spread out the column, to keep their eyes Open, but then he would slip away into daydreams. Sun and waves and gentle winds, all love and lightness. What they carried varied by mission. When a mission took them to the mountains, they earned mos- quito netting, machetes, canvas tarps, and extra bug juice.
Ifa mission seemed especially hazardous, or if it involved a plus: they knew to be bad, they carried everything they could. With its headphones and big sensing plate, the equipment was a stress on the lower back and shoulders, awkward to handle, often useless because of the shrapnel in the earth, but they worried it anyway, partly for safety.
Kiowa always took along his New Testament and I pair of moccasins for silence. Lee Strunk carried his slingshot; ammO. Henry Dobbins carried his girlfriend's pantylmso Wrapped around his neck as a comforter. In mid-April, it was their mission tomsaumh m destroy the elaborate tunnel complex an es in the Than Kh of Chu mg.
To blow the tunnels. Dave jensen carried earplugs. Most often. Because he was a big man, Henry Dobbins was excused from tunnel duty. The others would draw numbers. The mat of them would fan out as security. They would sit down or kneel, not facing the hole, listening to the ground beneath them.
Do rats carry rabies? If you screamed, how far would the sound carry? Would your buddies hear it?