Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

The Things They Carried - Tim O'Brien: Characters

What they carried and where to find them

 

Characters are listed in alphabetical order by first name.

  • Azar – Immature and insensitive, appears in the following stories: “Spin,” “The Man I Killed,” “Style,” “In the Field,” and “The Ghost Soldiers.”
  • Bobby Jorgenson – Medic, appears in “The Ghost Soldiers.”
  • Curt Lemon – “Always posturing and puffing himself up,” he appears in “Spin,” “How to Tell a True War Story,” “The Dentist,” and “Lives of the Dead.”
  • Dave Jensen – Big and strong and a clean freak, he carries dental floss, soap and a lucky rabbit’s foot.  He appears in the following chapters: "The Things They Carried," "Spin," "Enemies," "Friends," "How to Tell a True War Story," "In the Field," "The Ghost Soldiers," and "The Lives of the Dead."
  • Eddie Diamond – Minor character in “Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong.”
  • Elroy Berdahl – Motel owner in northern Minnesota, age 81, he appears in “On the Rainy River.”
  • Henry Dobbins – A buck sergeant, big and slow, he is excused from tunnel duty because of his size.  He carries his girlfriend’s pantyhose. He appears in “The Things They Carried,” “Love,” “Spin,” “Stockings,” “Church,” “Style,” “In the Field,” “The Ghost Soldiers,” “Night Life,” and “The Lives of the Dead.”
  • Jimmy Cross – 1st lieutenant and platoon leader, age 24, he carries a pebble, pictures, and letters from Martha. He appears in “The Things They Carried," "Love,” “Spin,” “Church,” “Style,” “Speaking of Courage,” “In the Field,” “The Ghost Soldiers,” “Night Life,” and “The Lives of the Dead.”
  • Kathleen O’Brien – Tim’s daughter, age 9-10. She appears in “Spin,” “Ambush,” “Good Form,” and “Field Trip.”
  • Kiowa – A Native American, he carries a New Testament and his grandfather’s hatchet. He appears in “The Things They Carried,” “Love,” “Spin,” “How To Tell a True War Story,” “The Man I Killed,” “Ambush,” “Speaking of Courage,” “Notes,” “In the Field,” “Field Trip.” and “The Lives of the Dead.”
  • Lee Strunk – Small and feisty, he carries a slingshot and appears in “The Things They Carried,” “Spin,” “Enemies,” and “Friends.”
  • Linda – Tim’s first love, she died at age 9 from a brain tumor. In life, she carried a stocking cap. She appears in “The Lives of the Dead.”
  • Mark Fossie – Mary Anne’s boyfriend, he appears in “Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong.”
  • Martha – Jimmy Cross’s love, a college junior, and later a Lutheran missionary. She appears in “The Things They Carried” and “Love.”
  • Mary Anne Bell – Mark Fossie’s girlfriend, who came to Vietnam at age 17.  When last seen, she carried a necklace of human tongues.  She appears in “Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong.”
  • Mitchell Sanders – A storyteller, he carries a yo-yo and condoms.  He appears in “The Things They Carried,” “Spin,” “How to Tell a True War Story,” “Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong,” “Church,” “In the Field,” “Night Life,” and “The Lives of the Dead.”
  • Morty Phillips – A minor character who appears in “The Ghost Soldiers.”
  • Norman Bowker – Quiet and sensitive, he carries a diary and a Vietcong thumb. He appears in “The Things They Carried,” “Spin,” “How to Tell a True War Story,” “Speaking of Courage,” “Notes,” “In the Field,” “The Ghost Soldiers,” and “Night Life.”
  • Rat (Bob) Kiley – Medic, age 19, he carries a medicine bag, morphine and M&Ms. He appears in “The Things they Carried,” “Love,” “Spin,” “Friends,” “How to Tell a True War Story,” “Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong,” “Style,” “In the Field,” “The Ghost Soldiers,” “Night Life,” and “The Lives of the Dead.”
  • Ted Lavender – Young, fearful and usually high, he carried tranquilizers. He appears in “The Things They Carried,” “Love,” “Spin,” and “The Lives of the Dead.”
  • Tim O’Brien – Narrator, age 21.  He carries memories of Linda.  As narrator, he is always there but is part of the story in “Spin,” “On the Rainy River,” “The Man I Killed,” “Ambush,” “Notes,” “Good Form,” “Field Trip,” “The Ghost Soldiers,” and “The Lives of the Dead.”

 


LSC-Kingwood Library | Ask Us: Kingwood.Library@LoneStar.edu | Reference: 281.312.1693 | Circulation: 281.312.1691 | LIB 100, 20000 Kingwood Drive, Kingwood, TX 77339