The Emotions In The Things They Carried By Tim O Brien

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The Feelings They Carried War is a repugnant event full of bloodshed and massacre, yet people expect nothing less than nonpareil patriotism from a soldier when he gets drafted. For better or worse, a drafted soldier must legally submit to war regardless of personal thoughts concerning the war or any plans they may already have for their future. However, people still expect euphoria and jubilation from a man whose entire life has been revised in a split second. Sure enough, not every soldier has these powerful feelings, and in the novel The Things They Carried, Tim O'Brien highlights and humanizes men who have feelings that have been labeled as eccentric by society. He attempts to justify, through the actions of himself and other men, why war …show more content…

Jimmy Cross longs to reunite with Martha during the war , and consequently, his mind remains infatuated by her and the fantasies he wishes he could experience with her. When Ted Lavender died, O'Brien says, “He [Jimmy Cross] felt shame. He hated himself.”(16). This is because Jimmy Cross feels guilty for always thinking about Martha and letting a death of one of his soldier slip through his hands. Any rational person would blame Jimmy Cross’s neglect for Lavender’s death, but the author explains how Jimmy’s emotions for Martha were some he could not control. O’Brien describes Cross’s behavior when he exclaims, “suddenly, without willing it, [Jimmy] was thinking about Martha.”(11). As a drafted soldier who longed of his life in America, Jimmy Cross simply could not stay focused in the war environment. Even more, given the circumstances, the war enervates Cross so much that he nearly loses his masculinity when he “[tries] not to cry”(16). However, having made clear that all these behaviors were one’s that Lieutenant Jimmy Cross could not control, Tim O’Brien argues that soldiers cannot always perform as society expects them to and can sometimes make mistakes in war that are

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