The Things They Carried
The Things They Carried
by Tim O'Brien
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The Dead, Dainty Young Man

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

The young man represents all of the faceless Vietnamese dead. There were hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese dead, and many went unidentified, burned by napalm or buried by the American soldiers. With the young man on the trail, Tim is trying to give the Vietnamese victims some dignity and an identity.

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