Meta-Fiction and Narrative Layering in Tim OʼBrienʼs The Things They Carried

Every work of literature has a repeating theme. Whether it has to do with a love, regret or a desire for revenge, every character encounters a battle between their enthusiasm and obligation. The Important Things They Brought features numerous characters that get rid of conflicts. Jimmy cross fights with his responsibility to his males in addition to his love for a female that does not love him back. Lieutenant Jimmy Cross is a young, carefree male who is still looking for his future. Without recognizing what he was getting himself into, he obtains the Reserve Officers Training Corps at his college in New Jersey.

Much of his good friends understood he did not appreciate the war. Even Cross himself never ever gave it a doubt. He never ever thought he would in fact fight by taking the Reserve Officers Training Corps course. Later on that year, he is drafted to the war as Lieutenant of a number of men under his charge, and he is unsure about everything he does.

He had no desire to be a group leader, let alone lead a group of males into a blind war. Up up until the day he was drafted, Jimmy Cross did not care for the war and what was occurring. Being just a sophomore in college, he was still a young man with no experience when it came to war and being Lieutenant.

As the war goes on, Cross starts to understand that he is accountable for the security of his own guys. Although he did not wish to be, he understood that someone had to be the leader. While they were all in Vietnam for the war, Jimmy Cross’ guys find him day dreaming often. His mind was on Martha, a woman he fell in love with while going to college in New Jersey. Even he would discover himself day dreaming about old memories of her and what his future would resemble with Martha. Lieutenant Cross carried various reminders of his love for her. He would typically read letters from her and look at her photos she sent him.

He understood she did not like him back like how he loved her. Cross wanted things were different in between the two of them. He desired her to love him back however he knew that was too good to be real. When Ted Lavender passed away, Jimmy blamed himself. He felt guilty for not watching over his men at the time when they required him one of the most. He must have saved Lavender but instead, his mind was filled with thoughts of Martha, a woman who provided no indicator of ever loving him back. As an outcome, Lieutenant Jimmy Cross struggles to make the best choice for his guys and burns all letters, photographs and memories of Martha.

His battle for Martha’s love kept him from securing his men and he now holds regret for Lavender’s death deep within. Lieutenant Jimmy Cross had a hard time throughout the novel often. He had disputes with what he desired from Martha, and his duty to his soldiers. In the end, Cross steps up and takes control of his circumstance. He ends up being the leader that everybody expects him to be by quiting Martha and focusing on the war and his men. Lieutenant Jimmy Cross did what was ideal for his men to keep them safe from harm.

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