after reading Tim O’Brien’s classic war story “The Things They Carried,” discuss these questions

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This week, after reading Tim O’Brien’s classic war story “The Things They Carried,” post responses and discussions to some of these questions about the story:

Why do most students say that they like this story?

What is the importance of the title? Does the title work for you as a reader? Does the title have a different meaning after you have read the story?

How does the story move from the physical things the men carry to the more intangible? Does this movement or back and forth analysis of “the things they carry” work for you as a reader? How? Why?

Which of the two types of things they carry is the heavier burden? Why?

Which of the men carries the most? Why is this so?

Does Lt. Cross’s name have any significance? Explain.

Does Lt. Cross think he will go back home and marry Martha?

How are the letters like the pebble? What do both mean to Lt. Cross?

Is there a common denominator for what the men collectively think about? What would that be?

Lt. Cross is about 25 years old. When he is 50 will he still remember any of these experiences, in other words, carry them? Why? How does this relate to the poem by Thomas Hardy that we write about this week?

What is it that frustrates the soldier about the letter he mailed to his dead friend’s family? How can this be related to adjusting to a “normal” life after a combat tour?

These men were in Viet Nam. Is there a chance that something like this happened in Iraq? In Afghanistan? at Gettysburg? before the gates at Troy?

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