For Tuesday, your assignment is to read the next three stories in The Things They Carried: "Enemies," "Friends," and "How to Tell a True War Story." Choose one of the following questions to respond to in a comment to this post:
A) Based on what you've read so far, especially "How to Tell a True War Story," how do you think the narrator differentiates between fiction and nonfiction? Central questions in our class this year have been about truth, journalism, and where the line is between fact and fiction. This book is presented as a work of fiction, but those questions still arise. How do you think the narrator answers the questions of the role of a journalist? The role of a historian? The role of a storyteller?
B) Look through the table of contents at the titles and page lengths of each of the stories in this book. Also note that a story like "Enemies" might look substantially longer in the table of contents than it actually is when you turn to it in the book. There are eight stories that are fifteen pages or more in length; you've now read three of these. There are also a collection of much shorter pieces; you've now read four of those. Based on what you've read so far, what do you think is the relationship between these two kinds of stories? What's the effect of structuring the book this way? How is your understanding of a certain story changed by the stories that come after it?