The Things They Carried

Susan Farrell, Professor of English at the College of Charleston, worked closely with students on discussions surrounding this year’s Convocation book, The Things They Carried.

Professor Farrell offers the below questions for discussion.

Question 1: Discuss the book’s form and the ambiguities between truth and fiction. What does O’Brien gain in playing with audience expectations in the book?

One Reply to “The Things They Carried”

  1. I liked that there was ambiguities between truth and fiction. I have to admit that at first, it was a little confusing. It took me a while to figure out who was narrating. But I think it illustrated what might have been O’Brien’s mission – to show the hardships of war and the memories of lost friends and fellow soldiers. It also illustrates the difficulty in distinguishing between what’s real and what’s imagined, a confusion that many soldiers experience after war.

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