Summary Of The Things They Carried By Tim O Brien

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Title and author
The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien

2. Major characters: their roles in the story and relationship, summarize what drives them (motivation)
Tim O’Brien: O’Brien serves as both the narrator and protagonist in The Things They Carried and conveys his messages through storytelling. By telling of his own experiences and those of his friends, O’Brien works through all that plagued him during the war—his reluctance to join the war effort, the death of his friends, the guilt of killing, etc. Incredibly reluctant to join the war effort after receiving a draft card in the mail, O’Brien contemplated fleeing to Canada to avoid the war. The fear of embarrassment is what drove O’Brien to enter the war, just as it did with countless …show more content…

Rather, he signed up for the Reserve Officers Training Corps after his friends did so. Because of this, he entered the war unprepared, “not [caring] one way or the other about the war and [having] no desire to command” (O’Brien 161). For someone who had such little desire to command, however, Cross felt an immense amount of guilt when his men died. After Ted Lavender died while he was daydreaming about his unrequited love interest, Martha, Cross put the blame entirely on himself. He burned all reminders of Martha soon thereafter, and cried for hours. In a way, Ted Lavender’s death motivated Cross to be a better lieutenant, making him “determined to perform his duties firmly and without negligence” (O’Brien 24). Despite Cross’s new outlook on his role in the war, he still led his platoon with hesitation. His position of authority was not granted based on his actions, but rather on his superior rank. Martha also plays a pivotal role in Cross’s experiences in Vietnam. Cross uses the thought of Martha, his love interest, as an escape from Vietnam. However, Cross’s love for Martha is unrequited, therefore making Tim O’Brien a foil to Cross. O’Brien and Linda’s mutual love for one another differs entirely from Cross’s unrequited love for

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