Discussion questions – The Things They Carried: Chapter 1-5

Chapter 1-5:
1.In the first chapter of the book, O’Brien mentioned dozens of things that soldiers carried during the Vietnam War. Which physical objects or intangible things seemed most significant or interesting to you? Why?

2.Did Jimmy Cross truly love Martha? Do you feel that the chapter “Love” resolved their story?

3.Do you think that the narrator should have fled to Canada? Why or why not?

4. Reread the last paragraph of the chapter “Spin”. How does O’Brien portray stories? Does this portrayal resonate with your own understanding of what a story is?

5. Elroy Berdahl, the owner of the inn on the north side of Minnesota is perhaps one of the book’s most cryptic characters thus far. In what ways does O’Brien give us insight into his character?

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