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The Things They Carried Title Analysis Essay

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The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien is a collection of short stories about the Vietnam war. The title's significance refers to both the emotional and physical baggage that the characters in the stories carry. Although the soldiers carry heavy physical baggage, they also carry the heavy emotional loads of the war, such as shame, guilt and escapism. In the first chapter, the author catalogs physical items like weapons, water, and medical gear. The author uses the measurements to emphasize each of these items, “20 pounds”, “5.9 pounds”,”10 ounces”, “8.4 pounds,” which gives the reader a sense of the burden each soldier is carrying.The author As the author catalogs the physical items, he gives the reader an insight into the character's personalities through the physical items they carried. Many soldiers carried items like “a toothbrush, dental floss”, “extra rations”, and “canned peaches in heavy syrup over pound cake,” which shows the reader the things the soldier need for survival, physically and emotionally. Many character's used these items as an escape from the war and specific details of the items helps transport the characters back home to normalcy.…show more content…
For example, Jimmy has been in love with Martha and carries her letters. These letters are “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." Jimmy’s daydreaming about Martha is a way of escaping the war and his responsibilities as a leader, which later results in guilt. When a comrade is killed he thought that “he had loved Martha more than this men” and that “this was something he would have have to carry like a stone in his stomach for the rest of the war.” Crosses feels guilty for fantasizing about someone who doesn't even love him and denying his duties as a
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