The Things They Carry Symbolism

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The novel “The Things They Carry” (1990) by Tim O’Brien plays a role of symbolism about the wants and needs of each soldier. Each of the individual soldiers carried different items to have reassurance in the Vietnam War. The soldiers’ needs and wants were expressed as well as their courage. The issue of each soldiers exemplifies mental distress such as fear, anger, and love in the Vietnam War. Lieutenant Jimmy Cross expresses his love for Martha “up the hills and through the swamps” (O’Brien 102). Lieutenant Cross carried two photos of Martha where she is standing against the brick wall and the volleyball team. Lieutenant Cross wonders, “who had taken the picture.” Because he knew it was not him taking the photos, and “he could see the shadow of the picture-taker spreading out against the brick wall” (O’Brien 102). Even though Martha did not have the same compassion towards Lieutenant Cross, but she sent him a good luck charm that was a pebble, that she found on the shoreline. “Where things came together but also separated” (O’Brien 104). The desire of this dental relationship represents the pebble how things can still be together emotionally not physically. Lieutenant Cross love for Martha is not real it is only a fantasy for him to escape the terrible reality of war. Each of the…show more content…
Lieutenant Cross not only felt terrible for loving Martha more than his men. The tragedy of Ted’s death has become “something he would have to carry like a stone in his stomach for the rest of the war” (O’Brien 107). Lieutenant Cross blame himself for being distracted and not being focused on the mission he burned Martha’s letters that also included two of her photograph’s (O’Brien 110). He finally realized that the relationship between him and Martha was fictional it was only lust. Lieutenant Cross learns he have to take responsibility as the team
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