The Things They Carried: O’Brien Uses Physical Items That Each Solider Is Reaching Try to Provide Us a Glance of Their Lives

The Important Things They Brought

Kailey Myers Maria Sebastian Eng 102 Short Story Draft 5 June 2013 In the narrative “The Things They Carried” Tim O’brien uses physical items that each solider is reaching try to provide us a glance of their lives and some insight into their personalities. Most of the things the soldiers brought were figured out by requirement, such as can openers, heat tabs, helmets and canteens of water. (269 ). While the reasoning for O’brien’s “The Things They Carried” is to speak about the physical items each soldier carried with them, the internal things they carried were far more significant.

Lieutenant Jimmy Cross is the lead character of the story. Cross carries many things while he is away at war but he mostly carries Martha. Cross is accountable for being a leader to all the soldiers who he is with. His character seems to be not sure about the orders he gives and also, appears to feel very guilty anytime anything bad takes place. It is obvious that he feels the most guilty when Ted Lavender is killed. While Cross lets his mind roam to Martha, “a junior at Mount Sebastian College in New Jersey”, (269 ). he is reminded reality by the death of

Lavender. Cross starts to feel that he enjoys Martha more than anything, even his own men. (272 ). O’brien reveals each characters implies of handling the horrible things that occur while away at war by discussing what they bring. The men use certain products to get away the important things they deal with every day and to feel a complacency. Each guy brings some challenge escape whether it is by creativity or even drugs. “Lieutenant Cross physically carries letters, photos and a ‘simple pebble, an ounce at a lot of,’ all given to him by a junior at Mount

Sebastian College, named Martha.” (McCleary). Cross will often even taste the envelope flap due to the fact that he understands Martha has actually licked it. Every time he takes a look at the images he considers new things he must’ve done while with Martha. (271 ). Lieutenants’ fixation with Martha symbolizes how desperate he is for love. “Another character, Kiowa, is described as a ‘devout Baptist’ who carries a copy of the Old Testimony, which was provided to him by his father”. (McCleary). Ted Lavender utilizes dope and tranquilizers to evade daily life. McCleary April.

Many styles are illustrated by the author in “The important things they Carried”. There was a definite and apparent focus on the word “carry”, as the title explains. The things they bring have to do with the problems the war faces upon them. The themes behind the word carry might be burden in addition to escape. O’brien emphasizes on the physical and psychological weight that the soldiers carry, which usually appears like too much of a concern. The men carry products from home to assist them psychologically get away from the war, whether it is mind altering drugs like Ted

Lavender’s tranquilizers or pictures and letters like Jimmy Cross. Bring these products enables the guys to think of life after war. Tim O’briens “The Things they Carried”, has a lot of emotion throughout it. Jimmy Cross’ character does a terrific task of displaying that. The story beings with Cross finding any chance to utilize the pictures and letters Martha sends to escape from truth, as the story goes on and he thinks he is to blame for Lavender’s death he understands that his guys need him more than Martha. Each solider is assigned things to carry based on their weight and speific issions. It is clear though that the most important things that they carry are not their tactical military equipment however, are in reality their memories and few individual valuables from home that enable them to be somewhere else even if just for a minute or more. Functions Pointed Out McCleary, April. “The Psychological Burdens in ‘The Things they Brought'”. BlogSpot. com. Sep. 9. 2009. Jun. 5. 2013. Web. O’brien, Tim. “The Important Things They Carried”. Portable Literature. Ed. Laurie Kirszner and Stephen Mandell. Wadsworth Cengage Learnning, 2013. 269-281. Print.

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