The Things They Carried Jimmy Cross Character Analysis

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In the novel The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien introduces Jimmy Cross, who is the Lieutenant of the platoon and who is also in love with virgin Martha,a friend from back home. She sent him letters signed ‘love’ which only played with his head, causing him to think lascivious thoughts about her, “slowly, a bit distracted, he would get up and move along with his men”(2). He was never fully in the war with Martha buzzing through his mind every waking second. When the men were on a mission, Jimmy Cross was examining a tunnel “and then suddenly, without willing, he was thinking about Martha...he tried to concentrate on the war but the love was to much for him” (11). When one of his men, Ted Lavender had left to go pee he was shot on the back of his head, at this moment Jimmy still was thinking about Martha and how he hated her but loved her for the distractions she was bring him:“He hated himself. He had loved Martha more than his men,and as a consequence lavender was now dead”(16). Martha has been a distraction for Jimmy and know he has to face the truth that he isn't fit to watch over his men. The love for Martha is irrevocable. Although Jimmy has killed a man from his repetitive thoughts I felt it was almost necessary for him, war is a miserable thing and what kept him going was the thoughts of Martha. This is seen with other men in the war as well like Henry…show more content…
Tim O’Brien was involved in the Vietnam war and was part of the platoon he writes about. In the chapter ‘In the field’ he tells the story through Lieutenant Jimmy Cross's eyes, he explains how this boy was with one of his good friends, Kiowa, when they were walking through the shit field late at night, “They had huddled together under their ponchos,the rain cold and steady,the water rising to their knees...and for awhile they talked about their families and hometowns”
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