Lieutenant Jimmy Cross, of the Alpha Company, carries various reminders of his love for Martha, a girl from his college in New Jersey who has given no indication of returning his love. Cross carries her letters in his backpack and her good-luck pebble in his mouth. After a long day’s march, he unwraps her letters and imagines the prospect of her returning his love someday. Martha is an English major who writes letters that quote lines of poetry and never mention the war. Though the letters are signed “Love, Martha” Cross understands that this gesture should not give him false hope. He wonders, uncontrollably, about whether or not Martha is a virgin. He carries her photographs, including one of her playing volleyball, but closer to his heart
As the chapter progresses, whenever Jimmy Cross is mentioned, Martha is mentioned as well. Jimmy cross blames himself for the death of Ted Lavender. “He pictured Martha’s smooth young face, thinking he loved her more than anything, more than his men, and now Ted Lavender was dead because he loved her so much and could not stop thinking about her”(O’Brien 7) and “he had loved Martha more than his men, as a consequence Ted Lavender was now dead”(O’Brien 16). Jimmy Cross constantly feels that he is failure for not saving Ted Lavender when he could have saved his life. He blames this on Martha because she was a distraction for
In the first chapter of the story, you are introduced to Lieutenant Jimmy Cross, a weak and insecure leader, always daydreaming and fantasizing about the love of his life, Martha. He carries letters from her and when he reads the word “Love” at the end he
Pope Paul IV once said, “All life demands struggle. Those who have everything given to them become lazy, selfish, and insensitive to the real values of life. The very striving and hard work that we so constantly try to avoid is the major building block in the person we are today” (http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/popepaulvi120381.html?src=t_values). As mentioned by Pope Paul IV, those who were born with a silver spoon become unpersevering while those who work hard, earn what they worked for. In Tim O’Brien’s novel, The Things they Carried, Lieutenant Jimmy Cross and his platoon face one substantial obstacle throughout the Vietnam War. The obstacle that Lieutenant Jimmy Cross and his platoon encounter is their human mentality (values, burdens, transformations). While the platoon values certain things, Jimmy Cross believes in something completely different than his men. Although
During the Vietnam war soldiers took many sacrifices, including leaving their families and being outkast’s in society. But during the war they made really good friendships. The Vietnam war made people lose their lives, friends, and families. Many people didn 't support the war so they protested, and when the soldiers came back from war they were treated like outcasts. In the novel “The Things They Carried,” by Tim O’Brien, the book shows the themes friendship and sacrifice through key details like when someone dies they still remain friends even though they had a sacrifice.
“Ted Lavender, who was scared, carried 34 rounds when he was shot and killed outside Than Khe, and he went down under an exceptional burden, more than 20 pounds of ammunition, plus the flask jacket and helmet and rations and water and toilet paper and tranquilizers and all the rest, plus the unweighted fear” (O’Brien 6).
Martha had a big effect on Jimmy cross 's during his adventure in Vietnam. “Jimmy Cross 's had loved Martha more than his man , and as a consequence lavender was dead now and this was something he had to carry like a stone in his stomach for the rest of the war and life.” Martha was a young lady that Lieutenant Jimmy Cross was obsessed with.It was very possible the distraction of Martha caused lavender to die. Although Martha never loved cross. When she came aware of the obsession Jimmy Cross had for her eventually it turned her off . In The things they Carried Martha and Jimmy Cross situation is a symbol of love that Jimmy cross have
Jimmy Cross is the first lieutenant who carries pictures and letters from Martha, the woman he loves who—sadly—does not love him back. The pictures and letters from Martha symbolize Jimmy’s longing to be loved and comforted. It is ironic that although he is the first lieutenant who is expected to take charge and lead others, yet he never took charge of his own love life. This is a regret and burden Cross carries to the end of the story. “It was very sad, he thought. The things men carried inside.” (par. 6)
Throughout the story “The Things They Carried” Lieutenant Cross’ character goes from being a boy at war, to a man that will execute orders sternly to get his men home alive. His character goes through a large change in a short period of time and he is described as having a “new hardness in his stomach (437).” In the story he uses the stone from Martha as a coping mechanism to transition himself into the man he now is. Lieutenant Cross uses the hardness of the stone to create the hardness in his gut when it is implied that he swallows the stone, and this action also signifies the burying of the feelings for Martha deep down.
Death, especially of a close family member or friend, can cause one to lose hope. Death could include a loss of a loved one, a loss of oneself, or a loss of a passion. In The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien reveals the significance of death each soldier must come to terms with and the impact that death has on them, their character, and their actions. Each soldier carries objects that represent who they are, what they long for, and what they love. This is what remains constant for the boys in a world of war and death.
Ever since the first war occurred in the world, written records by soldiers or people involved have been circulated and read. In the letters or stories, they include harsh conditions, homesickness, or desperation. Tim O’Brien uses limited third person in The Things They Carried while Stephen Crane uses dialogue in The Open Boat to both create an effect of desperation during war for soldiers.
The first mention of love is in “The Things They Carried,” when Lieutenant Jimmy Cross’ strong infatuation with Martha is revealed. His attitude seems innocent enough as he “want[s] Martha to love him as he loved her” (1). The reciprocity of this pure emotion, illustrated by the repetition of “love,” is quickly shot down as the officer is portrayed as obsessed with Martha’s rejection of him rather than simply in love. One of the most striking moments that interweaves the violent nature of war with his memories of the girl is presented in his desire to “carr[y] her up the stairs to her room and t[ie] her to the bed and [touch] that left knee all night long” (4). The run-on structure of the sentence conveys the unhealthy excitement of a man who plays this moment over and over again in his mind. In the context of war, such an act does not seem too extreme of harmful, but from a human standpoint it is still unthinkable. The character’s desensitization at the hands of the violence of Vietnam bleeds into his universal judgment of right and wrong, resulting in his reminiscence of Martha’s affections taking on a disquieting
For example, Jimmy has been in love with Martha and carries her letters. These letters are “signed Love, Martha, but Lieutenant Cross understood that Love was only a way of signing and did not mean what he sometimes pretended it meant." Jimmy’s daydreaming about Martha is a way of escaping the war and his responsibilities as a leader, which later results in guilt. When a comrade is killed he thought that “he had loved Martha more than this men” and that “this was something he would have have to carry like a stone in his stomach for the rest of the war.” Crosses feels guilty for fantasizing about someone who doesn't even love him and denying his duties as a
Imagine being drafted to move thousands of miles away from the life you love to fight a war you hated. This is the unfortunate reality for Tim O’Brien In The Things They Carried. O’Brien explains his experiences of war in Vietnam, what it took to get him there, and his relationships with the other men in his platoon. He portrays guilt and pride through storytelling and intertwines the two by showing how the men often feel guilty for the actions they pursue or decisions they make based on their pride.
In Tim O’Brien’s, “The Things They Carried ”, the story is set during the Vietnam war, the story’s main focus is on Lieutenant Jimmy Cross and his one sided love for a girl named Martha. O’Brien also mentions the other men in Jimmy Cross’ squad.,even though O’Brien never mentions much more than what the names of the men were and what they carried, you could still tell a lot about the men by just what O’Brien says. For example “Mitchell Sanders, the RTO, carried condoms,” (1002) From this you can tell that sex was important to Sanders because he felt the need to bring condoms to war with