For Thursday, your assignment is to read the next story in The Things They Carried - "On the Rainy River." In a comment to this post, respond to the following question:
The author of this entire book is Tim O'Brien. He was born and raised in Minnesota, went to Macalester College, was drafted in 1968, served in Vietnam, and returned to go to graduate school at Harvard. The narrator of this story goes by that name, and those other details I've just supplied seem to be true of that narrator. Yet, this book is a "work of fiction." (Some say 'novel,' others 'story collection.' That's a discussion for a different day.) It's not necessarily your job here to tell the facts from what's not factual, but what effect does it have on you that this is not called a memoir or autobiography? What about this story seems true to you? What about those first few lines in which he asserts that he's never told this story before because it would be too embarrassing, says too much about himself -- what do you make of that? I'm not looking for you to speculate upon what actually happened or what was in the author's heart. I want to know how that makes you (yes, 'you,' the individual, not 'one') react to what you've read and why. Please be specific and refer to specific lines/details in the story.