Reading and Reflection
Read and annotate the first eleven paragraphs of “The Things They Carried,” up to and including the paragraph that begins, “As PFCs or Spec 4s, most of them were common grunts…”
Pay attention to how Tim O’Brien explains the story, and look up any unfamiliar terms.
Answer the following questions.
- What kinds of things are the soldiers carrying in the first few paragraphs of the story?
- How does O’Brien distinguish among the several characters he names?
- Which terms did you look up?
- Did the information you found help you with your comprehension? How so?
Discuss your answers with a partner. Add to your annotations to aid your comprehension of the text so far.