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War Literature

In addition to the physical things soldiers carry, the narrator of "The Things They Carried" says soldiers "carried all the emotional baggage of men who might die." Using this story and your own experiences as evidence, write a 750-900 word MLA documented essay that argues a claim about the "emotional baggage of war." Cite the text of the story to support your view.

Analyze how the short story uses elements of literature to prove or demonstrate the theme. Craft a thesis that synthesizes your argument about the literature and the emotional baggage of war. Your thesis will frame the issues.

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Dear Student:

This is a story I know very well. I have taught it several times. "Things" are categorized by weight and that weight is attached to the "thing" itself. For example, Kiowa carries a Bible and also a hatchet, right? These two things then come to represent the duality of his upbringing. In his case, they represent the fact that he is torn between the Christian and the pagan--two different belief systems. That is his dilemma; in other words, the weight he carries as a Native American in a white society.

If you examine each "thing" and think of how that "thing" reveals a conflict or tension unique to that character, you should ...

Solution Summary

How metaphor works to create theme in Tim O'Brien's "The Things They Carried."

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