Guilt In The Things They Carried By Tim O Brien

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Throughout “The Things They Carried” O’Brien focuses on guilt through Lieutenant Cross’s reaction to Ted Lavender’s death. Lieutenant Cross’s guilt stems from the fact that he “love[s] Martha more than his men” (621). Cross allows himself to be distracted by daydreams of Martha, rather than focusing on keeping his men alive. Even in the line of duty, Martha occupies his thoughts. His love for Martha resulted in Lavender’s death. He is responsible for the death of Lavender. Through his guilt, Lieutenant Cross arrives at the realization that Martha will never love him in the way he wants her to, and his love for her turns into hatred. Cross, to ease his guilt, burns Martha’s letters and photographs. As the fire reduces Martha’s photographs and

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