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The Things They Carried

Q & A

The Things They Carried
Q & A
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Chapter 1, 2, and 3
Q: What did Lieutenent Jimmy Cross carry AFTER the war, both physically and emotionally?
A: Physically Jimmy Cross carried battle wounds, and emotionally he carried the loss of his men, loss of the life he had before the war, and his love for Martha that he won't ever be able to express.
Q: What was the average age of the soldiers in Tim O'Brien's platoon?
A: Thier ages ranged from 18 years-old to 21 years-old.

Chapter 4
Q: After recieving the draft notice, Tim O'Brien experienced a variety of emotions. What were they?
A: When he first recieved the draft notice he believed that it wasn't fair to him that he had to leave his whole life behind and that he was too smart to be going into war. He argued that he had his whole life ahead of him and that he did think he should give all that up to go to war.
Q: Where did Tim go after he recived his draft notice to go to war?
A: Tim O'Brien decided that he would escape going to war by running to the boarder of Canada.
Q: Who did Tim meet when he reached his destination?
A: Tim met a hotel manager named Elroy who helped him find a purpose to go to war.

Chapters 5 and 6
Q:What agreement did Jensen and Strunk make in Chapter 6?
A: Jensen and Strunk made the agreement that if either of them were to be injured, enough to be in a wheelchair after the war, that they would shoot the other man.\

Chapter 7
Q: What does Tim O'Brien believe about true war stories?
A: Tim believes that true war stories change people, and makes them realize the truth about serious situations.
Q: Why did Rat Kiley tourture the baby  water buffalo?
A: Kiley tourtured the buffalo to relieve stress and anger caused by the terrible death of Curt Lemon.

Chapters 8 and 9
Q: Why do you think Mary Anne Bell changed during her stay with her boyfriend in Vietman?
A: Mary Anne Bell changed because she realized what was really out there in the world and took full advantage of experiencing new activities outside her normal life back home in the states.

Chapters 10 and 11
Q: Why did Henry Dobbins continue to carry his girlfriend's stockings even after she broke up with him?
A: Even though they were broken up it was still a good-luck charm for him and it was something he could use as comfort.

Chapter 12
Q: How did Tim O'Brien react to the fact that he killed another human being?
A: He felt guilty because it show in the story, where he keeps repeating about the explosion, and how he makes a life for the dead man to symbolize Tim's own life.

Chapter 13 and 14
Q: How does the experience, of the Vietnamese soldier in the ambush, affect Tim after the war?
A: He is still writing war stories and still talks about the night of the ambush.

Chapter 15
Q: Why did Norman Bowker's seven medals mean nothing to him?
A: They meant nothing to him because those medals were ones that were given to ordinary soldiers who did ordinary things in the war, and they only really meant that they had participated in the war.

Chapter 16
Q: What happened to Norman Bowker? Why?
A: When he was at the YMCA he hung himself in the men's locker room, because he felt he had no reason to keep on living.
Q: Who else, besides Bowker, felt guilty about Kiowa's death?
A: Tim O'Brien.

Chapter 17
Q: What does Jimmy Cross blame himself for? Why?
A: He blames himself for Kiowa's death because he was the one who decided to set up camp in the shit field and he knew he should have gone to higher ground.

Chapter 18 and 19
Q: What, for Tim, was the symbolism of the field where Kiowa died?
A: Going back to the field meant that he could move on with his life. It was a sign of Tim being able to let the blame and the guilt of Kiowa's death off his shoulders.

Chapter 20
Q: Why did Tim O'Brien want revenge on Bobby Jorgensen?
A: He wanted revenge because when Tim was shot in the butt Jorgensen didn't know how to react, because he was so new, and Tim almost died from shock and held that instance against Jorgensen.
Q: How did Tim feel after carrying out the plan to get revenge on Jorgensen?
A: He didn't feel any pleasure after the plan was carried out and that there wasn't any need for the plan to have taken place.

Chapter 21 and 22
Q: How did Rat Kiley get out of active duty in Vietnam?
A: Kiley shot himself in the foot because he couldn't handle being in Vietnam anymore.
Q: Who was Linda and what happened to her?
A: Linda was Tim O'Brien's first "girlfriend" that he had taken out on a date when they were nine years old. She died from a brain tumor.
Q: At the end of the book Tim says "I realize it is Tim trying to save Timmy's life with a story."
A: He writes the stories to help him deal with the fact that he was in Vietnam and all the things that happened to him while he was over there.


Dedicated to the Soldiers of Vietnam