Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Exploration 5 - Katie Wells

In the book The Things They Carried, the story that has meant the most to me so far would be "On the Rainy River". This story has meant the most to me so far because of how personal he gets with the readers, sharing a story of his life that he never has told anyone before. In this story you really get to know the younger Tim O'Brien and how he feels about being drafted into the war. Tim O'Brien explains how for more than 20 years he has had to live with a story where he almost ran away from home to go to Canada, so he wouldn't be taken to war. He introduces us to the man who helps him with his decision, Elroy Berdahl. Overall, this chapter shows the emotions of a young, scared Tim O'Brien.
The character that I feel I connect with the best so far in this book would be Jimmy Cross. I feel like I connect the best with him so far is because in the first story, it goes into detail of how he keeps to himself much of the time and that he carries the responsibility for his men. I can relate to that because I am someone that keeps to myself, but listens and loves to help others with their problems.
A specific convention of narrative that I want to point out is how Tim O'Brien not only points out what each character in the book are carrying and how much the things weigh, but he also goes on to tell the details of emotional baggage. O'Brien goes on to explain that Jimmy Cross as a first lieutenant and platoon leader carried, "A map, compass, code books, binoculars, and a .45-caliber pistol that weighed 2.9 pounds." He goes on to describe the letters that Cross carried from a girl named Martha that gave him emotional baggage as well. It goes to show that even if the things the men at war are carrying may be heavy, their emotional baggage inside may be even heavier.
"A true war story is never moral. It does not instruct, nor encourage virtue, nor suggest models of proper human behavior, nor restrain men from doing the things men have always done. If a story seems moral, do not believe it. If at the end of a war story you feel uplifted, or if you feel that some small bit of rectitude has been salvaged from the larger waste, then you have been made the victim of a very old and terrible lie." This impacted me to realize that war stories aren't all about the happy endings, that war stories are told from people who are fighting for our freedom, and that the book Tim O'Brien wrote is as good as the truth can get about what war is truly like.


  1. The story "On The Rainy River" was my favorite so far too. The author is coming out with something he has never told anyone before.

  2. I really liked that chapter as well. I really felt like I could connect with him. I liked learning about how he felt being drafted. I don't hear those type of stories enough. I think that's how I would of reacted too and it tells us how he feels about the war and I like Elory. I like stoires on how and someone gives another person wisdom and helps them through difficult times without directly doing it.


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