1.) The story that meant the most to me so far is the story of Mary Ann Bell. Watching her morph from an innocent, bubbly, desirable young woman to a battle hardened, introverted, unemotional addict to the thrills of war, was hard to cope with. To me, she represented the youth of that generation. Many of the young men fighting over seas were 19 years old, fresh out of highschool. Not much older than Mary Ann. The war opened her eyes and made her realize that there are bigger things in life than what is back in the states. She was over powered by it all. Her once blue eyes became gray and lifeless. "It took a few seconds, Rat said, to appreciate the full change. In part it was her eyes: utterly flat and indifferent".
2.) So far, I have connected to Tim O'Brien the best because he admits his inner struggles as to what the war means to him and how he handled it. After being drafted, against his will, he attempted to run, but retreated from this because of fear of what people in his hometown would think of him. That is how I would have felt in his shoes. I do not know if I could sacrifice my blood for a cause I do not agree with. Emotionally, I would run. I would go and do my duty, as Tim did, but I would not be there emotionally. Tim is honest. The fact that he admits his fear, shows bravery. In the end, he pushed past his fear and did his duty to his country. He served as a honorable young soldier. The fact that he ran initially shows that he knows what he stands for and is willing to act on it.
3.) For a majority of our reading, Rat Kiley was telling a story. The way he interacted with the listeners and the emotion, and phrases he used to emphasize his story, really captures your attention. When he is telling the story of Mary Ann, he draws in his listeners and you as the reader. When he ends the story with, "I don't know the ending", he puts both the men of his unit and you as the reading into a tizzy. Tim did such a good job describing stories through Rat.
4.) "In many cases a true war story cannot be believed. If you believe it, be skeptical". This makes you question the validity of every war story you have heard growing up. It makes you doubt what you believe and question what you don't believe. How much of The Things They Carried is true. If not, can we even handle the truth?