Notes and Quotes – “The Things They Carried”, Tim O’Brien


Notes – “The Things They Carried”:

The things they carried were not merely things, but also persons, places and ideas. The missions, the memories, the superstitions, communal carrying, weight, pressure, gravity, all these things are the things people carry, and all these things are amplified by the circumstance of war.


Quotes – “The Things They Carried”:

“To carry something was to hump it . . .”  . . . . “In its intransitive form, to hump meant to walk, or to march, but it implied burdens far beyond the intransitive.” (3)

“They carried all they could bear, and then some, including silent awe for the terrible power of the things they carry.” (7)

 “What they carried varied by mission.” (8)

“The things they carried were determined to some extent by superstition.” (12)

“Some things they carried in common. Taking turns . . .” (12)

“They carried their own lives. The pressures were enormous.” (15)

“. . . it was the great American war chest . . .” “. . . they carried like freight trains; they carried it on their backs and shoulders . . .” (15)

“For the most part they carried themselves with poise, a kind of dignity.” (18)

“They carried all the emotional baggage of men who might die.” (20)

“By and large they carried these things inside, maintaining the masks of composure.”  (20)



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