Love In Tim O Brien's The Things They Carried

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Gratitude, happiness, and fulfillment are just a few things of the enduring list that most commonly defines love. However, love can also show the worst in people through destruction, agony, and desperation. Love does not always bring eternal happiness the way most people want it to, and often times love only lasts a short period of time. Through Lieutenant Cross, Rat Kiley, Mark Fossie, and his own personal experiences, Tim O’Brien uses The Things They Carried to show that love can lead to hopelessness. Lieutenant Cross carried many things, however the most important were his letters from Martha that allowed him to create something that did not exist. As Tim O’Brien was going through the things the soldiers carried with them, he notes the letter Lieutenant Cross had from Martha, “They were signed Love, Martha, but Lieutenant Cross understood that Love was only a way of signing and did not mean what he sometimes pretended it meant” (2). There is an idea in Lieutenant Cross’s mind of the “love” that Martha has for him that is not true reality. By creating this idea he leads himself down a path of despair in which he knows …show more content…

After Mark Fossie brought Mary Anne over to the war, she started to take a liking to it and then left Mark’s group, “‘You’re in a place,’ Mary Anne said softly, ‘where you don’t belong.’ … Mark Fossie stood rigid. ‘Do something,’ he whispered. ‘I can’t just let her go like that.’ Rat listened for a time, then shook his head. ‘Man, you must be deaf. She’s already gone’” (112). Mark Fossie thought that everything was going right for him, however he did not realize that Mary Anne would leave him because of the war. He feels desperate because he thought it would be good to bring over Mary Anne when in reality it forced them to split apart and now he has no

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