The Thing They Carried Critical Summary

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Smiley, Pamela. "The Role Of The Ideal (Female) Reader In Tim O'brien's The Things They Carried: Why Should Real Women Play?." Massachusetts Review 43.4 (2002): 602. Academic Search Complete. Web. 27 Mar. 2013.

Summary:
In this article, the author examines why “The Role Of The Ideal (Female) Reader” in “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien because this “war fiction is usually less concerned with women than with ritual and test “make you a man” (Smiley). Pamela Smiley begins disusing about Rat Kiley writing to Curt Lemon’s sister to tell her how worthy friends they both are. She describes how the author desired the women to connect with the soldiers emotions, as having the opinion of an older lady at the conclusion of the story, elaborates the older lady’s sense of sadness towards the hurt water buffalo and its dissimilar than many other stories, also he had talked about the soldiers writing to females that haven’t been response to, quote, “dumb cooze who never writes back” (O’Biren, page ) to define the soldiers sister. Similarly to Lieutenant Jimmy Cross so in love with Martha, he would do anything for her, having the soldiers express the feeling for a woman even if it’s of hurt, love, madness. Showing the wrath, care, and hurt in “The Thing They Carried” was brilliant particularizing. Tim O’Brien declares “It wasn’t a war story. It was a love story”. Having that told, women read his story, “Where else in post-Vietnam American culture is a woman’s love worth so much?” (Smiley).

Evaluations:
This article effectively uses evidence from “The Thing They Carried” to back up her ideas about why the story having an idea (female) reader. Having plenty evidence, Pamela Smiley goes on with the ideal female reader because of the story being a love story and not a typical war story. She elaborates the solider emotions of the women they had talked about in the “The Things They Carried”. However, the article would be stronger if it was also support with actual...
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