Summary of The Things They Carried

      In his book The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien recounts his experiences in the Vietnam War through different stories about him and his company.  He blends fact with fiction as he brings the war to life and speaks of the profound effects it had on him and his comrades.  In each story, O’Brien recounts a couple of things that soldiers carried with them, whether they be physical objects such as guns and other gear, or emotional baggage such as fear or guilt over people they have killed through the course of the war.  Specifically, O’Brien talks about his own struggles beginning with when he was drafted in 1968, to fight in a war that he didn’t necessarily support or believe in.  As he goes over to Vietnam, he recounts his internal struggles as he and his company move through the country.  Tragedy after tragedy occurs as different members of his company are killed, and O’Brien discusses the atrocities that war brings to such good people.  Ultimately, he grows from the experiences that he has in Vietnam, and delivers a great account of the people he met and the adventures they had.