Study Guide

The Things They Carried Characters

By Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien

There are three important Tim O'Briens in the story: Tim the Soldier, Tim the Writer, and Timmy...

Rat Kiley

Everybody, and we mean everybody, knows a guy like Rat. First of all, Rat's real name is Bob,...

Kiowa

Kiowa is pretty much the most decent character in the entire book. He's thoughtful, respects the...

First Lieutenant Jimmy Cross

You can't help but feel a little sorry for Jimmy Cross. He's the leader of the platoon, but he's...

Azar

Azar is the guy who kills puppies. Literally. When Ted Lavender adopts a puppy, Azar straps it...

Mitchell Sanders

Mitchell Sanders is obsessed with the truth. He's the one who's always trying to figure out what...

Norman Bowker

We know more about Bowker at peace than we do about him at war. At war, we know that he's...

Henry Dobbins

Henry Dobbins is that gentle giant that you see in pretty much any movie or book about a group of...

Mary Anne Bell

Mary Anne is that pretty, fresh-faced girl next door… who turns into a demon from a horror...

Curt Lemon and Ted Lavender

Curt Lemon and Ted Lavender are basically the red shirts of the book. What, you never saw Star...

Lee Strunk and Dave Jensen

This is another pair of slightly less important soldiers. In terms of the story, they really...

Bobby Jorgenson

Jorgenson is one of those surprise characters—we start out hating him, and then wham! All...

Civilians

All of the civilian characters—Kathleen, Martha, Bowker's father, Sally Gustafson—are...

Elroy Berdahl

Elroy is a pretty mysterious old guy. He is right there when O'Brien needs him, and he lets...

Mark Fossie

Fossie is just not too bright, we're sorry to say. He's so lovesick that he brings his childhood...

The Slim, Dead, Dainty Young Man of About Twenty

Despite the fact that we know absolutely nothing about the young man's life beyond his physical...