Teacher Notes on The Things They Carried Use them as you read!!



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"The Man I Killed"

The title of "The Man I Killed" alludes a powerful poem by  Thomas Hardy called "The Man He Killed." Please read this story carefully because it will be mentioned several more times in the novel. The verisimilitude used in this story, this vignette, is concentrated on making you aware of O'Brien's guilt in the death of this Vietnamese soldier. He wants you to believe the guilt is real. Later on in the novel, the narrator, O'Brien, will tell you that he was not the one who killed this man. If this is so (as anything can be so in fiction), what is O'Brien's guilt? Why does he feel guilt about this dead man?



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