Study Guide

The Things They Carried The Dentist

By Tim O'Brien

The Dentist

  • O'Brien wasn't a huge fan of Curt Lemon—he thought the guy was too cocky, too self-involved. But he wants to tell us a story about Curt Lemon anyway.
  • Once, when it is quiet, the higher-ups send an Army dentist out to the soldiers to check their teeth.
  • Lemon starts to panic. While he is pretty fearless in combat, he really hates dentists.
  • When he walks into the dentist's tent, he faints.
  • After he wakes up, he sulks for a while.
  • Later that night, he goes to the dental tent and tells the dentist that he has a horrible toothache and he needs to have a tooth pulled.
  • The dentist says that there's nothing wrong with his teeth, but Lemon insists, so the dentist pulls the tooth.
  • After that, Lemon is back to normal.