Things They Carried Reactions

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  • Topic: Death
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  • Published : May 21, 2013
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October 1st 2012
The Things They Carried Close Reading p. 1-26
- Pages 3 and 4: So many items being carried… what is the purpose? Quote(s):
“Kiowa also carried his grandmothers distrust for the white man…” (Pg. 3) “…The poncho weighed almost 2 pounds, but it was worth every ounce” (pg. 3)

Meaningful words/ phrases: pounds, weighed, grunts, Kodacolor, Bonnie and Clyde

Overall meaning/ author’s purpose:
The soldiers do not only carry material goods, they also carry emotions. Such is Kiowa’s distrust for the white man, as well as fear, anxiety, resentment and hope. The author is trying to show that the men carry more than just material goods.

Personal reaction/ insight:
I thought the list of items was extensive, like reading an intense shopping list. Carrying all that gear must be overwhelming on long treks into the jungle.

-Pages 6 and 7, 11-13 Ted Lavenders death

“It was like watching a big rock fall, or a big sandbag or something- just boom, then down” (pg. 6) “Kiowa kept explaining how you had to be there, how fast it was…” (Pg. 13)

Meaningful words/phrases: superstition, boom-down, moral, thumb, tunnel

Overall meaning/ author’s purpose:
Kiowa is in shock of Ted’s death, he’s not used to seeing someone dying in real life. He is curious at how it’s so fast and anticlimactic. The author shows here how these kids are alien to a world where their friends drop over dead like sand bags.

Personal reaction/ insight:
I have a feeling Kiowa is going to be very dramatized later in the story, although appearing fine in this passage.

- Page 13 and top of 14: conversation between Mitchell Sanders and Henry Dobbins

“You want my opinion, Mitchell Sanders said, there’s a definite moral here.” (Pg.13) “I don’t see no moral” (pg. 14)

Meaningful words/ phrases: moral, pebble, blood, Paladin, gift, superstition

Overall meaning/ author’s purpose:
Mitchell Sanders bizarrely tries to teach a lesson in morals by...
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