CliffsNotes on O'Brien's The Things They Carried

Front Cover
Wiley, May 18, 2011 - Literary Criticism - 128 pages
113 Reviews
The original CliffsNotes study guides offer expert commentary on major themes, plots, characters, literary devices, and historical background. The latest generation of titles in this series also feature glossaries and visual elements that complement the classic, familiar format.

In CliffsNotes on The Things They Carried, you discover Tim O'Brien's powerful and innovative novel about the experiences of foot soldiers during and after the Vietnam War. Drawing largely on his own experiences during the war, the author creates a fictional protagonist who shares the author's own name, and allows this fictional "Tim O'Brien" to relate disturbing war stories as he creates an indictment against the wastefulness of war.

Chapter summaries and commentaries take you through Tim O'Brien's very personal journey. Critical essays give you insight into the novel's historical context, the novel's narrative structure, and the theme of loss of innocence. Other features that help you study include

  • Character analyses of the main characters
  • A character map that graphically illustrates the relationships among the characters
  • A section on the life and background of Tim O'Brien
  • A review section that tests your knowledge
  • A Resource Center full of books, articles, films, and Internet sites

Classic literature or modern modern-day treasure — you'll understand it all with expert information and insight from CliffsNotes study guides.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
65
4 stars
37
3 stars
10
2 stars
1
1 star
0

Masterful storytelling and so humbly honest it hurts. - LibraryThing
Some were more difficult to read than others. - LibraryThing
The writing is crisp and clean with vivid images. - LibraryThing
It wasn't a war story, it was a love story... - LibraryThing
It could also provide a good opportunity for research. - LibraryThing
This man is a god of prose. - LibraryThing

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Hagelstein - LibraryThing

Tim O’Brien believes that “stories can save us,” and with his writing makes us believe it too. Most of the stories here take place in Vietnam – all are affected by that war. What is factual about them ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jmchshannon - LibraryThing

In many ways, The Things They Carried is a cathartic exercise in exorcising the demons created by Mr. O’Brien’s experiences in Vietnam. He lays the ghosts of his fellow soldiers to rest by sharing ... Read full review

Related books

Other editions - View all

About the author (2011)

Jill Colella earned a master's degree at the University of Maryland in English literature, specializing in Vietnam War narratives in film and literature. Ms. Colella, the daughter of a Vietnam veteran, founded The Children of Vietnam Combat Veterans Project in 1997 to speak to the specific concerns of families of veterans. She is the author of After Vietnam: War Stories from a Veteran's Daughter, a memoir of the effects her father's service in Vietnam had on her family life.

Bibliographic information