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* MeaningfulName: [[UpToEleven Several.]] Norman ([[TheEveryman "Normal"]]) Bowker, Ted [[FragileFlower Lavender]], Lt. Jimmy [[CrucifiedHeroShot Cross]] (initials [[EveryoneIsJesusInPurgatory J.C.]]), Kiowa (name of a famous American [[DeathFromAbove attack helicopter]]), the list goes on.

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* MeaningfulName: [[UpToEleven Several.]] Norman ([[TheEveryman "Normal"]]) Bowker, Ted [[FragileFlower [[ProneToTears Lavender]], Lt. Jimmy [[CrucifiedHeroShot Cross]] (initials [[EveryoneIsJesusInPurgatory J.C.]]), Kiowa (name of a famous American [[DeathFromAbove attack helicopter]]), the list goes on.


* DanceOfDespair: Implied in chapter "Style". The platoon comes across a girl whose entire family had died in the war. This girl did nothing but dance, and was dancing when they found her, for reasons they can't understand, but figure it's a cultural thing. One rude soldier is even told off when he tries to mock her dancing.



* DrivenToSuicide: [[spoiler: Norman Bowker after the war]].

to:

%% * DrivenToSuicide: [[spoiler: Norman Bowker after the war]].



* FemalesAreMoreInnocent: Totally [[AvertedTrope averted]]. See HerosMuse.



* GoingNative: Mary Anne.

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%% * GoingNative: Mary Anne.



* HungryJungle: Mary Anne [[TheDarkSideWillMakeYouForget falls victim]] to it.

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%% * HungryJungle: Mary Anne [[TheDarkSideWillMakeYouForget falls victim]] to it.

Added DiffLines:

* DudeNotFunny: Azar poking fun at [[spoiler:Kiowa]]'s death, making comments about "eating shit" and the like, although after he sees the horrible state the body is in, he personally apologizes to the rest of the platoon.


Required high school reading in some places. "Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong" was made into a movie, "Film/ASoldiersSweetheart" starring Creator/SkeetUlrich, Creator/GeorginaCates, and Creator/KieferSutherland.

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Required high school reading in some places. "Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong" was made into a movie, "Film/ASoldiersSweetheart" "A Soldiers Sweetheart" starring Creator/SkeetUlrich, Creator/GeorginaCates, Skeet Ulrich, Georgina Cates, and Creator/KieferSutherland.


Required high school reading in some places.

to:

Required high school reading in some places. "Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong" was made into a movie, "Film/ASoldiersSweetheart" starring Creator/SkeetUlrich, Creator/GeorginaCates, and Creator/KieferSutherland.


* [[KickTheDog Blow Up The Dog]]: Azar, Ted Lavender's puppy. He laughs about it and wonders why the others think it's such a big deal.

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* [[KickTheDog Blow Up The Dog]]: Dog]]:
**
Azar, Ted Lavender's puppy. He laughs about it and wonders why the others think it's such a big deal.



* UnreliableNarrator: Midway through the book the narrator admits that the entire section of book detailing [[spoiler: Curt Lemon's death]] was entirely made up. He was never playing catch with Rat Kiley using smoke grenades, he didn't step on a rigged 105 round in the sunlight, and Rat Kiley never reacted that way to his death. The real Curt Lemon was killed by a sniper in a swamp some place. The narrator then notes that just because it's untrue doesn't make it [[ItMeantSomethingToMe any less real]] to the guys who saw it. Which is why it's a love story, not a war story.

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* UnreliableNarrator: UnreliableNarrator:
**
Midway through the book the narrator admits that the entire section of book detailing [[spoiler: Curt Lemon's death]] was entirely made up. He was never playing catch with Rat Kiley using smoke grenades, he didn't step on a rigged 105 round in the sunlight, and Rat Kiley never reacted that way to his death. The real Curt Lemon was killed by a sniper in a swamp some place. The narrator then notes that just because it's untrue doesn't make it [[ItMeantSomethingToMe any less real]] to the guys who saw it. Which is why it's a love story, not a war story.


* BlackComedy: Several instances. Most notably, the Green Berets in "Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong" have a collection of human bones in their barracks, with a sign reading "Build your own gook! Free assembly kit". There's also Norman Bowker singing "Lemon Tree" to himself [[spoiler: while cleaning Curt Lemon's guts off of a tree branch]].



* CruelAndUnusualDeath: [[spoiler: Kiowa ends up ''drowning in human shit'' after the platoon takes mortar fire in the shit field]].



* MyGodWhatHaveIDone:
** "The Man I Killed" is all about O'Brien staring down in shock at the corpse of a Viet Cong soldier he killed with a grenade, describing his body in extreme detail as he imagines what the man's life before he died must have been like.
** There's also the young soldier who [[spoiler: turned on his flashlight to show Kiowa a picture of his girlfriend, thus attracting mortar fire and inadvertently getting Kiowa killed]]. In the morning, all he can do is vainly search for the picture of his girlfriend that he lost in the mud while crying.



* ShellShockedVeteran: What [[spoiler: Norman Bowker]] eventually becomes. [[spoiler: He tells O'Brien that he thinks he really died in the shit field.]] Or that could just be [[UnreliableNarrator O'Brien's fabrication]]. It doesn't matter either way.

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* ShellShockedVeteran: What [[spoiler: Norman Bowker]] eventually becomes. [[spoiler: He tells O'Brien that he thinks he really died in the shit field.field, and eventually hangs himself without even leaving a note.]] Or that could just be [[UnreliableNarrator O'Brien's fabrication]]. It doesn't matter either way.


Added DiffLines:

* SurprisinglySuddenDeath: Ted Lavender, who gets shot in the head by a sniper while taking a piss, and [[spoiler: Curt Lemon]], who steps on a rigged 105 round while the platoon is on break and gets blown into LudicrousGibs.


%%* FridgeBrilliance: See TheEndingChangesEverything. No specific examples, but the way the book is written lends itself to this. Tim O'Brien's writing style takes after [[Creator/ErnestHemingway Hemingway]] at least in part, so it's not altogether surprising.


* PetTheDog: Azar, when he gives the boy the chocolate bar.

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* PetTheDog: Azar, when he gives the boy the his chocolate bar.bar and laments the kid's missing leg.


* ActionGirl: Mary Anne. She learns how to disassemble an M-16, fights with the green berets, and [[GoingNative goes native]] in the [[HungryJungle Vietnamese jungle]].

to:

* ActionGirl: Mary Anne. She learns how to disassemble field strip an M-16, fights with the green berets, alongside Green Berets in night attacks, and [[GoingNative goes native]] in the [[HungryJungle Vietnamese jungle]].


TheFriendNobodyLikes: Azar fills this role, as every single interaction he is shown to have with the other members of the crew suggests they can't stand being around him. It might have something to do with him blowing up Ted Lavender's puppy for shits and giggles.

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* TheFriendNobodyLikes: Azar fills this role, as every single interaction he is shown to have with the other members of the crew suggests they can't stand being around him. It might have something to do with him blowing up Ted Lavender's puppy for shits and giggles.

Added DiffLines:

TheFriendNobodyLikes: Azar fills this role, as every single interaction he is shown to have with the other members of the crew suggests they can't stand being around him. It might have something to do with him blowing up Ted Lavender's puppy for shits and giggles.
--> Tim O'Brian: "Nobody cared for him, including myself."


-> ''"War is hell, but that's not the half of it, because war is also mystery and terror and adventure and courage and discovery and holiness and pity and despair and longing and love. War is nasty; war is fun. War is thrilling; war is drudgery. War makes you a man; war makes you dead. The truths are contradictory." ''

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[[quoteright:265:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/the_things_they_carried_9780618706419.jpg]]
-> ''"War is hell, but that's not the half of it, because war is also mystery and terror and adventure and courage and discovery and holiness and pity and despair and longing and love. War is nasty; war is fun. War is thrilling; war is drudgery. War makes you a man; war makes you dead. The truths are contradictory." ''



* ActionGirl: Mary Anne. She learns how to disassemble an M-16, fights with the green berets, and [[GoingNative goes native]] in the [[HungryJungle Vietnamese jungle]].



* CommunicationsOfficer: Mitchell Sanders. The fact that he is this while also being TheStoryteller is [[SarcasmMode probably isn't]] [[RuleOfSymbolism symbolic.]]
* CorruptTheCutie: [[TheNarrator O'Brien]], Lt. Cross. Many of the soldiers, really. Azar [[SubvertedTrope subverts]] this, using it as a justification for [[KickTheDog blowing up a puppy.]]

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* BreadEggsMilkSquick: At the end of "Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong," Mary Anne is described as wearing "her culottes, her pink sweater, and a necklace of human tongues."
* CommunicationsOfficer: Mitchell Sanders. The fact that he He is also this while also being TheStoryteller is [[SarcasmMode probably isn't]] [[RuleOfSymbolism symbolic.]]
TheStoryteller.
* CorruptTheCutie: [[TheNarrator O'Brien]], Lt. Cross. Many of the soldiers, really. Azar [[SubvertedTrope subverts]] this, using it as a justification for [[KickTheDog blowing up a puppy.]]puppy]].



* DrivenToSuicide: [[spoiler: Norman Bowker after the war.]]

to:

* DrivenToSuicide: [[spoiler: Norman Bowker after the war.]]war]].



* FemalesAreMoreInnocent: Totally [[AvertedTrope averted.]] See HerosMuse.
* FridgeBrilliance: See TheEndingChangesEverything. No specific examples, but the way the book is written lends itself to this. Tim O'Brien's writing style takes after [[Creator/ErnestHemingway Hemingway]] at least in part, so it's not altogether surprising.

to:

* FemalesAreMoreInnocent: Totally [[AvertedTrope averted.]] averted]]. See HerosMuse.
* %%* FridgeBrilliance: See TheEndingChangesEverything. No specific examples, but the way the book is written lends itself to this. Tim O'Brien's writing style takes after [[Creator/ErnestHemingway Hemingway]] at least in part, so it's not altogether surprising.


* WorldOfSymbolism: It honestly wouldn't be to ridiculous to call this one of the most heavily symbolic books ever written. The book is written in this way since O'Brien felt that a civilian could never properly understand the real experience of being a soldier without being one himself, so instead attempted to capture the essence of the experience instead, in a way that a civilian would be able to understand. This is the reasoning behind the "truer than the truth" quote at the top of the page, and the reason it's given such a heavy focus throughout the book.

to:

* WorldOfSymbolism: It honestly wouldn't be to ridiculous to call this one of the most heavily symbolic books ever written. The book is written in this way since O'Brien felt that a civilian could never properly understand the real experience of being a soldier without being one himself, so he instead attempted to capture the essence of the experience instead, in a way that a civilian would be able to understand. This is the reasoning behind the "truer than the truth" quote at the top of the page, and the reason it's given such a heavy focus throughout the book.


* HerosMuse: [[DeconstructedTrope Deconstructed]] to hell and back. Numerous characters that play this role to several of the soldiers end up causing a considerable amount of the conflict of the plot, such as Martha, Henry Dobbins' girlfriend, and the ex-girlfriend of the guy who [[spoiler: got Kiowa killed]]. The men cling to the idealized versions of these women in their heads since they find the notion that [[FemalesAreMoreInnocent innocence]] and [[PurityPersonified purity]] still exist somewhere outside of the war to be comforting in a situation [[InnocenceLost that has deprived themselves of it]]. Believing in this causes [[spoiler: Lt. Cross to fall into even deeper despair after Ted Lavender is killed while he's day dreaming of Martha, and Mary Anne [[GoingNative going native]] and joining the war effectively deconstructs the entire notion of women's innocence.]]

to:

* HerosMuse: [[DeconstructedTrope Deconstructed]] to hell and back. Numerous characters that play this role to several of the soldiers end up causing a considerable amount of the conflict of the plot, such as Martha, Henry Dobbins' girlfriend, and the ex-girlfriend of the guy who [[spoiler: got Kiowa killed]]. The men cling to the idealized versions of these women in their heads since they find the notion that [[FemalesAreMoreInnocent innocence]] and [[PurityPersonified purity]] still exist somewhere outside of the war to be comforting in a situation [[InnocenceLost that has deprived themselves them of it]].it themselves]]. Believing in this causes [[spoiler: Lt. Cross to fall into even deeper despair after Ted Lavender is killed while he's day dreaming of Martha, and Mary Anne [[GoingNative going native]] and joining the war effectively deconstructs the entire notion of women's innocence.]]

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