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The Things They Carried- Book Review In The Things They Carried author Tim OBrien conveys his experience and feelings about the Vietnam War through a collection of stories Each narrative is comprised with vivid description telling us about one of the soldiers of the Alpha Company in Vietnam One of the significant concepts in this novel is the importance of certain objects or feelings carried and used by the soldiers to survive the war Several of these things are intangible including guilt and fear while others are specific physical objects including matches morphine M-16 rifles and MMs candy Tim OBrian releases his fear sadness and anger felt due to the war and illustrates to us the power ordinary objects may have on one solely through sentimental value Tim OBrien was born on October 1 1946 in Worthington Minnesota After graduating in 1968 from McAlester College in St Paul with a degree in Political Science OBrien was drafted into the army His college years however were spent trying to ignore the Vietnam War or railing against it-- he attended peace vigils and war protests and aspired to join the State Department This was a horrid confused and traumatic period for Tim OBrian While serving at the South Vietnamese village of My Lai he was wounded and returned home with Purple Heart a Bronze Star for Valor and a Combat Infantry Badge After his return OBrien entered a PhD program in Government at Harvard University During the time he spent at Harvard O Brien spent two summers working as a reporter for the Washington Post In 1975 OBrien published his first novel Northern Lights Since then he has published quite a few fictional novels based on the Vietnam war including If I Die in a Combat Zone Box Me Up and Ship Me Home Going After Cacciato which won the National Book Award in 1979 and The Things They Carried which was a finalist for both
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