The Things They Carried:Novel Summary: “The Dentist”
Summary of “The Dentist”
O'Brien could not mourn Curt Lemon's death. Curt tried to play the tough soldier and did dangerous stunts. He once painted up his body on Halloween and went trick or treating naked. During a peaceful time on a beach where the men felt like they were on vacation, the military brought in a dentist to take care of the men's teeth. Curt Lemon was nervous and fainted. Embarrassed to be seen like this, he went back to the dentist later claiming a toothache that he did not have. He made the dentist pull a perfectly good tooth, and then he felt better.
Commentary on “The Dentist”
The men are aware of appearing manly and brave to one another. Curt who was always posturing and acting brave was actually afraid of pain. At the dentist he is caught, but he uses the incident as a way to regain his manhood in the eyes of the others.
The Things They Carried Study GuideChoose to Continue
- “The Things They Carried” and "Love"
- Top Ten Quotes
- The Things They Carried
- “How to Tell a True War Story”
- “The Dentist”
- “The Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong”
- “The Man I Killed”
- “Speaking of Courage”
- “In the Field”
- “Good Form”
- “Field Trip”
- “The Ghost Soldiers”
- “Night Life”
- “The Lives of the Dead”