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Focus on The Things They Carried: Home

This research guide will be used in Comp II classes.

The Things They Carried novel

The Things They Carried is an anthology of short stories.  These short stories follow the men of Alpha Company--Jimmy Cross, Henry Dobbins, Rat Kiley, Mitchell Sanders, Norman Bowker, Kiowa, and the author--during their tours of duty in Vietnam.   It was first published in 1990.  Now a 20th anniversary has been published.  The collection includes the short story with that title.

Forty-three years old, and the war occurred half a lifetime ago, and yet the remembering makes it now. And sometimes remembering will lead to a story, which makes it forever. That's what stories are for. Stories are for joining the past to the future. Stories are for those late hours in the night when you can't remember how you got from where you were to where you are. Stories are for eternity, when memory is erased, when there is nothing to remember except the story. — Tim O’Brien, The Things They Carried

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