Through his novel The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien, shares his insider’s perspective on the Vietnam War. O’Brien retells his experience and adventures as a soldier of the Vietnam War’s Alpha Company, through a collection of short stories in which all seem to be connected. In chapter one—The Things They Carried—O’Brien introduces many characters and includes the object(s) in which they carried, literally along with the figurative things they carried during their time in Vietnam. Each of the men carries heavy physical loads while they also all carry heavy emotional loads, composed of “grief, terror, love, longing […]” (O’Brien 20).
Tim O'Brien short story "The Things They Carried" is about a unit in the Vietnam War. One of the soldiers “Ted Lavender, a "Grunt" gets shot by a sniper when in route to the restroom. Meanwhile, his superior by the name of, Lieutenant Jimmy Cross points the finger at himself for the catastrophe. One of O'Brien's themes is that emotional problems on soldiers can be heavier than physical problems. Symbolically, the things the soldiers carry represented who they were. Lieutenant Cross' “Jimmy Cross” name is a symbol of sacrifices for others.
In the 1800’s many people were traveling on the trail to Oregon, this journey was not all that it seemed to be for many. People faced many hardships that would effect their lives and their journey. To start, since the trail was so long and people would go with lots of people food ran out quickly for most, this caused people to become sick or even starve to death. If this where to happen people would not have any supplies to properly dispose of the body they would just have to bury them in the ground, which may be hard for some. There was also the possibility you would encounter a unfriendly indian that would either kidnap, kill, or molest you. Despite all of these horrible hardships a girl named Martha and her family was able to peacefully travel and settle through her journey without anything majorly bad occurring to herself and family.
In the beginning of the book Mary was stuck in a room with no windows and never got outside, but in the movie she was allowed out of her room and did go outside to play. I thought that the movie did a better job with this then the book did. The book just kind of said this and then moved on with the story. The movie gave a little bit more detail on the subject. Her parents died by a large earthquake in the movie, but in the book they both died along with other people in their kingdom from cholera, and that is why Mary had to go stay with her uncle Mr. Craven. I don’t think the way her parents died really affected the story; it just changed the reason why she had to go live at Misselwaite Manor. When Mary was going to meet Mrs. Medlock at the train station,
While more than 10.7 million people were enslaved throughout American history, the story of just one plantation can paint the picture of what life was like for most slaves (Gates Jr.). The Kitchen House is a book about Lavinia, an orphan who grows up as an indentured servant to the Pykes. When she is about 12 years old, she travels to Williamsburg with Mrs. Pyke and Mrs. Pyke’s sister, Miss Sarah. After Lavinia marries and divorces Mr. Boran, a widower, she marries Marshall Pyke, the son of the captain. Together, they move back to Tall Oaks, the plantation owned by the Pykes. She soon realizes that Marshall is an abusive alcoholic and she falls into a deep depression. When Lavinia sees what her depression is doing to her family, she snaps out
I do believe that Lieutenant Cross is responsible for Lavender 's death. Lieutenant Cross was a leader and being a leader comes with a lot of responsibilities. His first priority should have been to protect his men, but he was too hung up on Martha. I understand that they are at war which is very stressful. The thought of death being so near and the thought of never seeing their loved ones must be terrifying . Therefore, I think it is normal for soldiers to have some kind of souvenir from home to help them remember the good times and to take their minds off the war. Lieutenant Cross’s situation was a bit different from the other soldiers because he had became obsessed with Martha. A woman who did not love him and only thought of him as a friend.
Laurel Thatcher wrote that “Martha Ballard was as independent as an eighteenth-century housewife could be.” In her essay “Martha Ballard and Her Girls”, she analyzes the diary of Martha Ballard; a midwife in the 18th century; who recorded her experiences and works on a daily basis in her diary. Martha wrote in her diary for 27 years, from 1785 to 1812, while living in Hallowell, Maine. Laurel Thatcher proves that Martha Ballard was an exceptional independent woman who was also constrained by the expectations put on women. Thatcher portrayed the quality of women’s lives through the life of Martha Ballard and the women around her.
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.
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
Towards the beginning of the novel, items that the men carried were discussed, Tim O’Brien writes, “Almost everyone humped photographs. In his wallet Lieutenant Cross carried 2 photographs of Martha” (O’Brien 5). While the lieutenant wants to get out of the war, the only way he can feel comfort is through the pictures he carries with him. Furthermore, Jimmy Cross loves Marth so much he wanted to be with her every second of the day, “... he was thinking of Martha. The stresses and fractures, the quick collapse, the two of them buried alive under all that weight. Dense, crushing love. Kneeling, watching the hole, he tried to focus on Lee Strunk and the war, all the dangers, but his love was too much for him, he felt paralyzed, he wanted to sleep inside her lungs and breathe be blood and be smothered. He wanted her to be a virgin and not a virgin all at once. He wanted to know her” (O’Brien
"They carried all the emotional baggage of men who might die. Grief, terror, love, longing"(O'Brien 20). The novel The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien is a collection of war story that focuses around his life and relationships with people in the Vietnam War, especially the part people usually choose not to focus on: the burden, the guilt and the regret. In the war stories it is forgotten that soldiers that fought in those wars are real people who had to deal with the consequences of their actions. O'Brien integrates this into the book by carving out Lieutenant Jimmy Cross, the highest ranking soldier in their group, to be the scapegoat. He makes him carry all his men and their burdens, shame and problems along with them which turns Cross
One often recalls the pounds and pounds of gear soldiers in war must carry: rifle, knife, helmet, body armor, grenades, and many more. In The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien begins the novel with a detailed description of the physical gear soldiers carried in Vietnam; with each listed item, the total weight of a soldier’s equipment slowly grew into a massive number. One would assume the equipment would prove to be a soldier’s largest burden in the battlefield. Although the soldiers in Vietnam certainly carry backbreaking amounts of equipment, their emotional and psychological burdens far outweigh their physical gear. “Grief, terror, love, longing - these were intangibles, but the intangibles had their own mass and specific gravity, they had
“The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien is a short story set during the Vietnam War. In the story, O’Brien lists many different items soldiers in the Alpha Company carried with them as they humped across the rugged terrain. Many carried necessities such as rations, matches, ammunition and things of that nature; however, many soldiers also carried quite peculiar objects such as condoms, pantyhose, and M&Ms. Readers can grasp a closer insight of the characters’ lives after further examination of the symbolism and meaning of the things they carried. Three characters in this story that carried interesting belongings are Kiowa, Ted Lavender, and Jimmy Cross.
Edith Wharton, who is an American author, states “The novelist must rely on what maybe called the illuminating incident to reveal and emphasize the inner meaning of each situation” (Wharton). Tim O’Brien uses illuminating moments to show how war makes guilt ambiguous. By examining three specific moments, the reader discovers how difficult it is to deal with the ambiguities of guilt.
The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien is a collection of short stories about the Vietnam war. The title's significance refers to both the emotional and physical baggage that the characters in the stories carry. Although the soldiers carry heavy physical baggage, they also carry the heavy emotional loads of the war, such as shame, guilt and escapism.