The Things They Carried

by Tim O’Brien Year Published: Challenging

Lieutenant Jimmy Cross' platoon of soldiers are a group of very young men, most of whom are unprepared for the Vietnam War. They carry heavy rations and supplies, and pictures of their girlfriends, and fear and sadness and confusion. They often pretend that they do not feel as much as they do, because they don't want to look silly to the other soldiers. Strange things happen to soldiers in Vietnam: they get paranoid, and they lose their sense of morality and justice. They become hardened and angry, because no one back home understands what they are going through.