Discussion questions – The Things They Carried: Chapter 6-10
1. Describe the story of Mary Ann, Fossie’s girlfriend. Do you believe the story had a moral? If so, how does your understanding of the moral compare to Rat Kiley’s musings at the end of “Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong”?
2. Why was it important for the soldiers to believe that Henry Dobbins’ stockings still have power after his girlfriend breaks up with him?
3. At the end of “How to Tell a True War Story”, the narrator describes a “kindly woman” who tells him that she actually likes his story about Curt Lemon but believes that he should tell stories about happier things in general. How does the author feel about this woman and why?
4. The conflict between Dave Jensen and Lee Strunk ends in an interesting way with Dave Jensen breaking his own nose. Does this action make sense to you? Why or why not?
5. In the chapter “Friends” the author makes a strong case for former enemies making strong friendships. Can you think of some larger implications of this principle when applied to war in general? Is this idea unrealistic? Why or why not?