What are the major themes in The Things They Carried?


What are the major themes in The Things They Carried?


  • Physical and Emotional Burdens. The “[t]hings” of the title that O’Brien’s characters carry are both literal and figurative.
  • Fear of Shame as Motivation.
  • The Subjection of Truth to Storytelling.
  • The Power of Friendship.
  • The Pointlessness of War.
  • Death’s Power.

What is the theme of Spin The Things They Carried?

“Spin” is like a map of the uncharted territory of war for readers who have never experienced it. The story allows us to feel the boredom of war by describing the things that happen when nothing is happening: jibes, songs, stomachaches, and despair.

How is courage a theme in The Things They Carried?

The Things They Carried Overview For O’Brien, courage is a complex emotion that is not always easy to understand. Also, courage is a commodity in short supply. Soldiers often lack courage, having cowardice instead. They fantasize about courageous acts, when, in fact, they are motivated by fear and shame.

Is storytelling a theme in The Things They Carried?

In The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien reflects on the art to storytelling: By telling stories, you objectify your own experience. You separate it from yourself.

What they carried short story?

The Things They Carried (1990) is a collection of linked short stories by American novelist Tim O’Brien, about a platoon of American soldiers fighting on the ground in the Vietnam War. His third book about the war, it is based upon his experiences as a soldier in the 23rd Infantry Division.

What is the thesis of The Things They Carried?

The True Weight of War “The Things They Carried,” by Tim O’Brien, brings to light the psychological impact of what soldiers go through during times of war. We learn that the effects of traumatic events weigh heavier on the minds of men than all of the provisions and equipment they shouldered.

What is the moral of The Things They Carried?

Ironically, the moral or lesson in The Things They Carried is that there is no morality in war. War is ambiguous and arbitrary because it forces humans into extreme situations that have no obvious solutions.

What the soldiers carried in The Things They Carried?

Most of the men are common, low-ranking soldiers and carry a standard M- 16 assault rifle and several magazines of ammunition. Several men carry grenade launchers. All men carry the figurative weight of memory and the literal weight of one another. They carry Vietnam itself, in the heavy weather and the dusty soil.

What the characters carried in The Things They Carried?

Dave Jensen carries a toothbrush, dental floss, and soap. Ted Lavender (“who was scared”) carries tranquilizers. Mitchell Sanders carries condoms. Norman Bowker carries a diary. Rat Kiley carries comic books.

What did Ted Lavender carry?

Nervous Ted Lavender carries marijuana and tranquilizers to calm himself down, and the religious Kiowa carries an illustrated New Testament, a gift from his father.

What is the genre of The Things They Carried?

War story
NovelHistorical FictionPsychological Fiction
The Things They Carried/Genres

Is The Things They Carried a true story?

The Things They Carried is famously a “true” war story drawn from O’Brien’s service in the Vietnam War, featuring events and people that the reader believes or wants to believe are true.