The Lives of the Dead by Tim O'Brien Summary

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Zain Saleemuddin Mrs. Wyeth English 2- PAP, A1 1/7/13 “The Lives of the Dead” by Tim O’Brien Plot Summary It has been O’Brien’s 4th day in war at a village near the South China Sea. His platoon was taking sniper fire so Lieutenant Jimmy Cross called in an airstrike watching the village burn. The soldiers gathered around a dead old man and were shaking its hand. Dave Jensen tried to get O’Brien to do the same thing but he refused because he was scared. Kiowa thought his action was impressive and complimenting him of having guts to say no. O’Brien then tells him that the body reminded him of his love in 4th grade with a girl named Linda. He remembered going on a date with her which was planned by his parents to a movie called The Man Who Never Was. He would only compliment Linda on the red cap she would always wear. O’Brien then talks about a soldier named Ted Lavender who died in Vietnam who would take tranquilizers to calm himself and was always asked “How is the war going?” , and would always reply “Mellow”. At another moment, Mitchell Sanders, a soldier, asked a dead body how the war was going and someone else had answered for it, “mellow”. O’Brien gave the example of how stories animate bodies. O’Brien then goes back to talking about the movie date, which was a movie about World War 2, and he would always remember the dead bodies that were shown in it as a child. After the date, they went to Dairy Queen to have ice cream and said goodnight to each other. The next day, Linda was wearing the red cap to school and a boy named Nick Veenhof was teasing her and took the cap off of her head. Her bald head was shown with stitching and some bandages. This let the whole class knows she had cancer. O’Brien was called Timmy at that time, and he uses stories of Linda’s life to feel like she is still alive. He then tells about the day he remembered her death and

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