Options (choose two)
A - No doubt, you’ve heard of friends or peers having to write their own creative pieces: “The Things I Carry” poems and the like. Write a list of things you carry, and try to do it as O’Brien does -- mixing the concrete with the abstract; some items with no explanation, some with only a line that implies a great deal. If you have your school bag next to you, try to include what’s in it. If not, make a comprehensive list of a “typical” day for you. Suggested length: 25 “things” or more.
B - What’s the purpose of the pictures Lt. Cross keeps at the beginning of the story? How has their meaning changed for him by the end of the story? Why has it changed? Was he wrong to keep them? Is he wrong to have changed his mind?
C - What is your favorite passage from this story and why? You don’t need to type it out, word-for-word. Just give a line or two from it and the page number (we all are working from the same books). Why do you like this passage? If it’s the language, write about word choice and syntax. If it’s something else, write about that in equal detail.
D – The title page of the book reads “The Things They Carried: A Work of Fiction by Tim O’Brien.” Read the dedication page: “This book is lovingly dedicated to…” Then read the epigraph from John Ransom’s Andersonville Diary. (His reference to “this book” is not O’Brien’s, and “the late war” isn’t Vietnam.) What connection do you see between the title page, the dedication, and the epigraph? What do you think it means?