Lieutenant Jimmy Cross Character Analysis

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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” ( 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…show more content…
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
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