Download a PDF to print or study offline.

Study Guide
Cite This Study Guide

How to Cite This Study Guide

quotation mark graphic


Course Hero. "The Things They Carried Study Guide." Course Hero. 28 July 2016. Web. 19 Nov. 2018. <>.

In text

(Course Hero)



Course Hero. (2016, July 28). The Things They Carried Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved November 19, 2018, from

In text

(Course Hero, 2016)



Course Hero. "The Things They Carried Study Guide." July 28, 2016. Accessed November 19, 2018.


Course Hero, "The Things They Carried Study Guide," July 28, 2016, accessed November 19, 2018,

The Things They Carried | Infographic

Share Embed
Click to copy code

Check out this Infographic to learn more about Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried. Study visually with character maps, plot summaries, helpful context, and more.

the-things-they-carried-tim-obrienSources: Business Insider, National Archives, NPR, National Vietnam Veterans' Readjustment Study, The New York Times, U.S. Department of Veterans AffairsCopyright © 2016 Course Hero, Inc.The Vietnam War has long haunted the American psyche. By its end, it was America's longest war, had divided the country, and inflicted enormous wounds on an entire generation.Of the 3.4 millionAmericans deployed to Southeast Asia, 1.8 million were drafted.58,200U.S. military deaths26%of veterans found to have symptoms of PTSD, in a study conducted in the '80s20 years after he was drafted into the Vietnam War, Tim O'Brien published The Things The Carried. The vividness of his experiences shaped his stories, in which he appears as a character and narrator.Main CharactersJimmy CrossMotifsThe 1st Lieutenant, who struggles to lead and retreats into fantasies of homeMitchell SandersThe radio officer, a voice of experience and wisdomBob RatKileyA medic and storyteller; shoots himself in the foot to escape the death around himNorman BowkerA soldier plagued by guilt and an inability to forgive himself even after he returned homeTim OBrienAUTHORBORN 1946LoveO’Brien explores the many faces of love in war: for friends, platoon, sweethearts, and country.StorytellingThe stories reflect on the power of storytelling to preserve memories, cope with trauma, learn to forgive, and offer solace for introspection.Lost InnocenceThe brutal, abrupt disillusionment of war is described as one of its worst tragedies.GuiltThe oppressive, lifelong weight of guilt haunts O’Briens stories.= DiedKiowaThe best-loved member of the platoon, and often its moral compasshey carried the land itselfVietnam, the place, the soil.... The whole atmosphere, they carried it, the humidity, the monsoons, the stink of fungus and decay, all of it, they carried gravity.The Things They Carried, Chapter 1 LAOSCHINATHAILANDCAMBODIAGulf of TonkinGulf of ThailandAmerica in VietnamPhotographsUSO stationeryTobaccoDiseaseInsectsStink of decayP-38 can opener Pocket knifeGumHeat tabsSalt tabletsKool-Aid packetsLighters Poncho2.1 lbs Jacket6.7 lbs Steel Helmet5 lbsMemoriesTerrorCowardiceReputationsGriefAmmunition beltFrag grenadePRC-77 scrambler radioMine detectorSharedOther WeaponsMedical suppliesTranquilizers/dopeMedicalHANOISAIGONDANANGDMZNHATRANGCAN THO9 lbsM-16 Machine Gun2 lbs Jungle BootsPersonalEnvironmentNecessitiesThe Things They Carried opens by listing the gear and necessities carried by a group of soldiers in the Vietnam War, but the ultimate emphasis is on emotional burdens.They Carried GravityANATOMY OF A SOLDIERLoveTim O’ Brien1990EnglishShort StoriesAuthorYear PublishedOriginal LanguageWar LiteratureThe Things They Carried

Want to see more infographics? View All Infographics on Course Hero!

Cite This Study Guide

information icon Have study documents to share about The Things They Carried? Upload them to earn free Course Hero access!