Mrs. Schuet's AP Literature Class of '16 discussion

The Things They Carried
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The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brian

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message 1: by Logan (last edited Dec 07, 2015 10:25AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Logan | 6 comments a. I chose this book because one of my best friends said it was her favorite book, and insisted that I read it.

b. I'm on page 99. So far, I've been reading various short stories about the war from the perspective of O'Brien. Certain people have been killed. There is a strong emphasis placed on burdens (literal and metaphorical) that the soldiers carry, as well as the inanity of war.

My initial impression is that there is less of a focus on literary acrobatics as there is on story-telling. That is to say, there are CTA-able passages, but there is a lot that seems to be just the story. I'm low-key missing Lolita's writing style.


message 2: by Chau (new)

Chau Nguyen (jajajajajaja) | 8 comments What do you mean by "literary acrobatics" and how does it help you CTA the passages?


Logan | 6 comments CHAU wrote: "What do you mean by "literary acrobatics" and how does it help you CTA the passages?"

"Literary acrobatics" in that it felt like Nabokov was putting on a performance of the English language. It was helpful to CTA because it felt like there were dozens of layers to uncover in every single sentence (analogous to why the performers are where they are and are doing what they're doing).


message 4: by John (new)

John | 8 comments Logan wrote: "a. I chose this book because one of my best friends said it was her favorite book, and insisted that I read it.

b. I'm on page 99. So far, I've been reading various short stories about the war fro..."


Based on reading the short stories, why do you think the stories are seemingly random? Is it just thoughts that pop up that the author decides to tell instead of focusing on a storyline or you think the short stories are intentional?


Logan | 6 comments John wrote: "Logan wrote: "a. I chose this book because one of my best friends said it was her favorite book, and insisted that I read it.

b. I'm on page 99. So far, I've been reading various short stories abo..."


The short stories are probably intentional, to show the scattered and multiple-valid-viewpoints nature of war.


Logan | 6 comments I think I'm beginning to better understand the point of this book, and it seems to be based on the general idea of perception vs reality. The author mentions that there are multiple "truths" in a story, and that sometimes the truth isn't what actually happened.

This reminded me of this essay [1] which describes various types of truths, going from true to false to true and false to neither true nor false. The true-false dichotomy is just one logical option.

[1] https://aeon.co/essays/the-logic-of-b...


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