Monday, February 18, 2013

Interpretive questions list. Post questions HERE!

Students, please post your three best interpretive questions so far for the novel The Things They Carried.

Simply include your questions underneath this post by using the Comments feature and that way we will have all our brainstorming questions available in one place here on the blog.

The idea is to share ideas for Essay Two and find a question or thesis idea that we are interested in and think we can write about with good evidence and interpretation for Essay Two.


  1. 1. Why/how is there beauty in war?
    2. Why is the truth so hard to reveal at times when a story is being told?

  2. How does Tim O'Brien and his friends deal with death?

    Why does O'Brien and others still tell stories about the dead?

    Why did they go back for Kiowa's body?

  3. 1. Why does Tim O'Brien still write war stories
    2. What was Tim O'Brien's true motive for messing with Jorgensen.
    3. What do soldiers do to maintain "normalcy" in such an abnormal environment

  4. How did Tim O'Brien choose to define courage?
    What did it look like to be a dead, and what makes Tim to bring back the dead to a life?

  5. Why was it so hard for o’brien to get over killing the man on the road yet so easy for him to get back to civilian life and away from the war?

    What made Obrien resent Bobby Jensen so much after apologizing and admitting to be even more scared than Obrien when he got sot and didn’t treat his shock?

  6. 1. Why is it that Norman Bowker wants somebody to talk to about the war? Why does his mind turn every conversation into military jargon during the "Speaking of Courage" chapter?

    2. Why does the death of Kiowa hit the company so hard? What is the struggle Lieutenant Cross must make with Kiowa's death?

  7. What does reaccuring death mean in the novel?

    Why does the author connect war and beauty?

  8. In what ways do soldiers cope with death, trauma, and fear?

    What role do stories play in relieving stress, sharing wisdom, and honoring the dead?

    In what ways are ritual, loyalty, and identity important to the soldiers of O'Brien's platoon? Why did O'Brien feel like he'd lost all of these when he was retired to the rear for the rest of his time in Vietnam?

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  10. 1. how can one find beauty in war.
    2. why do the soldiers make light of death.

  11. Why is it so hard for O'Brien to get over the man he killed?

    What role do stories play in relieving stress, sharing wisdom, and honoring the dead?

  12. What was his true feelings when he visited back to the field after twenty years?
    Who to really blame for the death of Kiowa?

  13. 1. Why do we tell stories?
    2. How does hearing a story change what we think or what we do?
    3. How does death affect our perspective on life?

  14. 1. What is the reasoning behind exaggerating or even in some cases completely making up a war story?
    2. What does the death of Linda have to do with the book?
    3. How does death affect O'Brien's character?

  15. why was it so hard for Tim O'Brien to get over the man he killed?
    why did Northman Bowker kill him self?
    why did Rat kiley shot himself?

  16. 1. What did Tim O'Brien gain by serving in Vietnam?
    2. What do the soldiers carry with them and what is the symbolic meaning?
    3. Why doesn't O'Brien include stories of heroism? How would he define heroism?
    4. Is "loss of innocence" a theme in The Things They Carried? How does war change people?