Things They Carried By Tim O Brien: Character Analysis

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‘The things they carried,' a book by Tim O'Brien is a collection of many short stories that includes an extensive range of complex characters that revolve around a similar setting and subject. A character analysis of the book revamps the critical thinking of the readers who witness a steady development of characters from simple to complex forms as the stories forge ahead. The development of characters in the book has been focused on a physical, intellectual, emotional and social development. The book contains many characters who are represented in distinct forms due to disparate reasons that enhance the reader's grip to the plots featured.

O'Brien is the most convoluted and complex character in the book, mainly because we observe him at three
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Jimmy Cross. The Lieutenant serves as a metaphor for the war; to be specific, it's hollow structure. Similar to the war, the lieutenant is characterized by an inadequacy of definitive goal. Lt. Cross is the leader of the Alpha Company. As the leader, he is supposed to be an able leader who provides his troops with concise instructions to gain a substantial and measurable advantage over their enemy. Nonetheless, the nature of the war in Vietnam makes this leadership impossible considering the fact the goals of the war are obfuscated and undefined. Similar to the operations of the war, Lt. Cross shows inadequacy in fulfilling his role. Moreover, Cross is a powerless leader because he underwent the traditional training that focused on following standard operating procedures that had been pre-decided, rather than adapting to the current environment. Lt. Cross’s other character shortcoming is his emotional and personal inability to lead the Alpha Company. Cross zealously guards a picture of a girl named Martha, who is not even his girlfriend, to continue with his strong linkage to love as well as his livelihood. However, he fails to remember the connection between love and war in the plot. He depends upon his love for Martha as a huge escape from the reality of war. Unable to handle the combination of being in love as well as being in the war at the same time, his love for Martha arrays itself in his mind as fiction. More so his duties as a soldier are affected by this incidence. Loving makes him resist his leadership

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