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09/02/2009

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I think you are right. That when O'Brien mentions Ted in the story he does not need to say "until he was shot" or any other form of it. Really, we get it, he was shot and died. I mean, he could be trying to make a point that someone could be shot at any moment, but since this is fiction he could have just added another character for the simple to be shot.

Yes, I most definitely agree with you on that. But I also think you had the most important part right when you said that O'Brien wanted to show their superstitions. This is especially important with Ted Lavender's death because Lavender carried around all of these extra weapons most likely with the fear of dying and he ended up dying anyway...kind of ironic and interesting how O'Brien sent that message across. I like it!

Each person in this book represents part of the real tim o brien. In this case perhaps Lavendar represents that part of him that is scared? Because Obrien is a coward, he won't admit that it was him, but rather he uses fictional characters to say indirectly that he was afraid. The last chapter uses the color yellow, the color of cowardice, and this backs up the claim.

It's not O'Brien trying to emphasize the risk that's at stake at war.
By repeating his death 6+ times, O'Brien is emphasizing the guilt Jimmy Cross is carrying throughout the story for Lavender's death. The theme is all about how the intangible burdens are heavier than the tangible.

O'Brien structured this entire book in a very interesting manor. He would typically begin a character's life with their death as in the example of Ted Lavender. Before we truly even knew the guy, we knew he was dead. This is also exemplified in the chapters "The Man I Killed" and "Ambush." In the first of these two, O'Brien describes the deformed remains of a young man he had killed. In the next chapter he goes back and tells us how the entire incident came to pass. Tim lays out this whole strategy of his in the very last chapter, "The Lives of the Dead." He tells us about his life's love, Linda, and how she died at a very young age, but continues to say that even after death she was kept alive in his mind through dreams and imagining new scenarios to talk to her so that he would always be with her. That's the significance (at least some of the significance) of this book. Tim O’Brien ordered the chapters of The Things They Carried in such a way that his characters were continually re-imagined throughout the mini stories even after their supposed deaths in an attempt for him to cope with their departure from his life.

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