War Makes You a Man, War Makes You Dead. Essay

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“War makes you a man; war makes you dead.” The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien Reading Questions: 1. Why is the first story, "The Things They Carried," written in third person? How does this serve to introduce the rest of the novel? What effect did it have on your experience of the novel when O'Brien switched to first person, and you realized the narrator was one of the soldiers? I think that the first chapter was written in the third person so that the narrator could introduce all the characters from an unbiased point of view. O’Brien lists his characters in a similar format to the way he lists what everyone carries. When I found out that the narrator was actually Lieutenant Jimmy Cross, it made the characters come to life for me. I liked how everything was listed in a way where after the first couple items you could almost start to feel the weight of each physical and emotional item on your shoulders. 2. In the list of all the things the soldiers carried, what item was most surprising? Which item did you find most evocative of the war? Which items stay with you? The M-60 surprised me the most, I can’t imagine how one man can carry a gun that heavy along with its ammunition and all the other supplies they needed. The items I found most evocative of the war, as well as the items that stayed with me as I read the book, were the ones that each man brought as emotional support. Every soldier brought an item such as a bible or some pantyhose that they thought would keep them safe. This first chapter helped me make an early connection with each soldier because they made me realize that these were all young men in their early twenties, some even younger than that. Because some brought comic books or M&M’s it really resonated in me how young they really were, especially as I kept going through the book and realizing how fast these men grow up in a

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