O'Brien, Tim. The Things They Carried. New York: Broadway Books, 1998.
The author of The Things That They Carried, Tim O'Brien expresses his experiences and feelings about the Vietnam War through a collection of stories. Each of these stories or narratives encompasses vivid descriptions about one of the soldiers of the Alpha Company in Vietnam. One of the main concepts in this book is the importance of certain objects or feelings carried and used by the soldiers to come out of the war alive. Several of these things are intangible, such as fear and guilt; while on the other hand, others were specific physical objects, including matches, morphine, and M&M's candy. Tim O'Brian releases his fear, sadness, and anger felt due to the war, and illustrates to us the power ordinary objects may have on one, solely through sentimental value.
Tim O'Brien was born on October 1, 1946 in Worthington, Minnesota.
Right after graduating in 1968 from McAlester College with a degree in Political Science, O'Brien was drafted into the United States army. He spends his college years trying to avoid the Vietnam War. He was known for attending peace protests and peace vigils on a daily basis. After being drafted, O'Brian was horrified and confused. O'Brien went to Vietnam and served there in the Fifth Battalion, Forty-Sixth Infantry-the U.S. Army's Americal Division from January 1969 to March 1970, patrolling the deadly Batangan Peninsula and the disastrous villages of My Lai after the massacre there in March 1968. While serving at the South Vietnamese village of My Lai, he was wounded and returned home with Purple Heart, a Bronze Star for Valor, and a Combat Infantry Badge. After his return, O'Brien entered a Ph. D. program in Government at Harvard University. During the time he spent at Harvard,