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Ask The Puma Research Guides: The Things They Carried

Quick start research guides to hundreds of assignments given at Valencia East Campus.


The Things They Carried


First published in Esquire in 1986, the short story “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien became a lead story in his book of the same name that came out in 1990.  Narrated by an unnamed person, this is the story of Lt. Jimmy Cross’s infantry unit in the Vietnam War.  The story is woven around the personal effects, good luck charms, and other items that individual soldiers carry as their symbols of love back home, and of collective responsibility in the war.



Call Numbers for Browsing the Shelves


  • PS3565 .B75
  • PS648 .S5



Circulating Books – A Selected List


  • Herzog, Tobey C. Tim O’Brien. 1997.

                         Call Number: PS3565 .B75 Z69 1997

  • O’Brien, Tim. The Things They Carried. 1998.

                       Call Number: PS3565 .B75 T48 1998

  • Updike, John (ed.). The Best American Short Stories of the Century. 2000.

                          Call Number: PS648 .S5 B4 2000



LINCCWeb online catalog – Search Terms


  • The Things They Carried
  • O’Brien, Tim, 1946-
  • O’Brien, Tim, 1946-  – Criticism and Interpretation
  • Vietnamese Conflict, 1961-1975 -- Fiction
  • Short Stories, American



Reference Materials


  • Contemporary Literary CriticismCall Number: REF PN771 .C59

o   Vol. 103, pg. 143

  • Critical Survey of Short Fiction Call Number: REF PN3321 .C7 2001

o   Vol. 5, pg. 1792-1793

  •  Masterplots II: Short Story Series (Revised Edition)Call Number: REF PN3326 .M27 2004

o   Vol. 7, pg. 4113-4115

  • Short Stories for StudentsCall Number: REF PN3330 .S386

o   Vol. 5, pg. 318-334

  • Short Story CriticismCall Number: REF PN3321 .S5

o   Vol. 74, pg. 238-335



Research Databases

To access Valencia’s research databases, open your Atlas account, select ‘Search the Library’, then select ‘Databases A-Z’.


  • Academic Search Complete
  • Literature Resources from Gale



This Research Guide is designed to help users find information on a particular topic within the Valencia College East Campus Library.  This is by no means a comprehensive list of resources and other resources may be available on this topic.  Please check LINCCWeb, Valencia East’s online catalog, to verify the availability of circulating books within the library.  Feel free to ask a librarian for help if you need further assistance.



Valencia College East Campus Library

Last Revised on November 21, 2021

Subject Guide

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Erich Heintzelman
Valencia College - East Campus
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Office: Building 4-217
Phone: 407-582-2886
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