The Things They Carried

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by kimberlyburd
Last updated 7 years ago

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Language Arts

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The Things They Carried

"You could blame the rain. You could blame the river. You could blame the field, the mud, the climate. You could blame the enemy. You could blame the mortar rounds."

"It's not just the embarrassment of tears. That's part of it, no doubt, but what embarrasses me much more, and always will, is the paralysis that took my heart. A moral freeze: I couldn't decide, I couldn't act, I couldn't comport myself with even a pretense of modest human dignity."

"They were afraid of dying, but they were even more afraid to show it."

"My whole life seemed to spill out into the river, swirling away from me, everything I had ever been or ever wanted to be."

"War is hell, but that's not the half of it, because war is also mystery and terror and adventure and courage and discovery and holiness and pity and despair and longing and love."

"The presence of danger has a way of making you feel fully awake."

"...precisely where the land touched water at high tide, where things came together but also separated."

“But in a story, which is a type of dreaming, the dead sometimes smile and sit up and return to the world.”

"They carried all they could bear, and then some, including a silent awe for the terrible power of the things they carried."

"A thing may happen and be a total lie; another thing may not happen and be truer than the truth."



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