Symbols in The Things They Carried


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question 1 of 3

The title of the novel The Things They Carried refers to _____.

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1. In Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried, Rat Kiley kills _____.

2. In The Things They Carried, the narrator associates water with _____.

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About This Quiz & Worksheet

How is the title of the book itself a symbol? What other items are used as symbols? These are the things you will need to know to fully assess your understanding of symbolism in The Things They Carried.

Quiz & Worksheet Goals

The use of this assessment tool will require that you know about the following:

  • What the title refers to
  • Who or what Rat Kiley kills
  • What the narrator associates water with
  • A symbol of the mysteries of Vietnam
  • An item repeatedly used in the book to symbolize the filth of war

Skills Practiced

  • Reading comprehension - ensure that you draw the most important information from the related lesson, such as symbols used for the filth of war and mysteries of Vietnam
  • Making connections - understand the concept of what the title refers to
  • Information recall - access the knowledge you've gained regarding what water symbolizes in the book

Additional Learning

Learn more about how Tim O'Brien used symbols in his book by referring to the lesson titled Symbols in The Things They Carried. Information discussed in this lesson includes:

  • What the nylon stockings Henry Dobbins wears around his neck symbolize
  • The symbolism of the puppy and water buffalo
  • The duel meaning of baggage employed in the book