Quotes From The Things They Carried

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War is a heavy topic for most soldiers as it brings back painful memories that they wish to eliminate from their minds. Most soldiers attempt to escape from reality because it is all they can do in a time of violence. The Things They Carry is a perfect example of this. This is a short story created by Tim O’Brien where First Lieutenant Jimmy cross, a soldier who is in love with a girl named Martha, is the type of man to focus on a false reality instead of what is occurring. However, this all changes when one of his men, Ted Lavender is killed by the Vietnamese. Cross comes to his senses and believes it is his fault lavender was killed because he was too busy obsessing over a girl that didn’t even romantically love him. He decides to burn the …show more content…

Martha is a junior at Mount Sebastian College in New Jersey and seems to be a friend of Cross who went to war. They stayed in touch and were writing to each other whenever they could. Since he knew her back at college, Cross seems to think differently about her, he is overwhelmed by lust and appears to have a crush on her while she is the opposite. This quote “He would imagine romantic camping trips into the White Mountains in New Hampshire…She was a virgin, he was almost sure,” (O’Brien, 2) proves that he thinks about her in a romantic way, although she seems to be very platonic when writing to him. He is so consumed in daydreaming that he even keeps two photos of her in his wallet (O’Brien, 2). It appears that Tim O’Brien is attempting to show a way of coping for soldiers even if it is disturbing to civilians, even though they could never understand the pain that these troopers endure, though it seems he is leaving out the reasoning Jimmy Cross was drafted and how he ended up at this …show more content…

Ted Lavender, one of Cross’ men who were terrified of the war, ended up losing his life. It happened as he went to pee, on his way back to his fellow soldiers he was shot in the head and Kiowa, unfortunately, witnessed it. Lieutenant Cross started to blame himself because he was so distracted by his thoughts of Martha that he could not focus on the present. The squad returned him home by chopper and continued their mission in Vietnam but as his Lavender’s body was taken away, the remaining troops went and burned a village as perhaps a coping mechanism. It was clear that the other men were struggling to process the death as well even though they attempted to brush it off. Further, into the story, Cross is seen attempting to gather his senses and continue, he even tells himself “No more fantasies” (O’Brien, 13). He would continuously shut down his thoughts about Martha and refused to think about her in any way positively because he was no longer a civilian. He was the leader of the group and “This was not Mount Sebastian, it was another world…a place where men died because of carelessness and gross stupidity,” (O’Brien, 13). In some ways, this seems like O’Brien stressing about war and how change can happen within a matter of

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