Female Characters In The Things They Carried By Tim O Brien

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The female characters in the novel The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien have a huge impact on the men of the war. The women seem to be a burden that the men must carry around even after the war has ended. Lieutenant Jimmy Cross’s feelings for a girl back home often distracts him from the war. Mary Anne Belle, Mark Fossie’s girlfriend who visits Vietnam to see him, gets addicted to the war, which places a heavy burden on Mark.The high school sweetheart of Norman Bowker, Sally Kramer, is a reminder of the normal life that Norman could have if he did not go to Vietnam. The women in The Things They Carried may have very small roles, but those roles are very significant. Martha is Jimmy Cross’s escape from the war that turned wrong. Jimmy often …show more content…

Mary Anne is flown over by Mark to Vietnam and at first the two are inseparable and extremely happy to be together. Mary Anne is fascinated with everything that is going on in Vietnam. From the culture and lifestyle of the native people to how to shoot a gun, Mary Anne wants to learn all about life in Vietnam. Soon Mary Anne becomes so obsessed with the war that she goes out on an ambush in the middle of the night with the Green Berets (O’Brien 97). Mark Fossie is enraged that Mary Anne would go off on an ambush. The next day Mary Anne barely speaks and Mark tells Rat Kiley that that they are now officially engaged. Soon Mark is making arrangements for her to go home but Mary Anne does not want to leave and disappears. Three weeks later she shows up back at the base and does not go see Mark but instead goes straight to the Special Forces tent. Mark sits outside the tent all night waiting for her to come outside. When it becomes clear that Mary Anne will not be coming to see him. Mark storms into the tent. What Mark sees in the tent, however is no longer Mary Anne. Wearing a pink sweater and a skirt Mary Anne is dressed as the same girl that Mark fell in love with back home, but her choice of accessories shows how much she has changed. Around Mary Anne’s neck is a necklace made of human tongues, which most likely belong to her victims (O’Brien 105). When Mary Anne and Mark start talking, she says

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