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The Things They Carried by Tim O' Brien Essay

Project id 1004079
Subject area Writing
Document type Essay
Words 1469
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The novel "The Things They Carried" by Tim O' Brien takes place in the Vietnam War. The protagonist, Lieutenant Cross, is a soldier who is madly in love with a school student named Martha. He carries around letters and photos from her. On the other hand, the first couple of chapters illustrate this profound love makes him weak in the warfare. Lieutenant Cross is a character who, before the death of a soldier, has been really loose and not taken the war seriously. He had let his troops throw off their supplies, take medication, and sing joyful tunes in the middle of the serious war. He was just worried about Martha; he cried about being , and he was delighted when he received letters from her. Tim O’Brien says, "Gradually, somewhat distracted, he would get up and move among his men, assessing the perimeter, and at full dim he would return to his hole and watch the night and wonder if Martha was a virgin." (p. 2) This shows how all he cared about was Martha; he wasn't paying attention to his real life and his environment. He was essentially living in a world of dream since they lived in two separate worlds. Being not able to wake up from this dream made him possibly weak because his head was always wandering elsewhere in the present situation. That made him an easy target because of his enemies because if this had gone on, then he would start to fear death, fear fighting, and dread the war. He'd turn into a coward because he'd want for the day when he would be with Martha again after the war. This would greatly weaken his military both, and they'd most likely lose to the enemy. Another weakness that resulted from this love is revealed when he states, "Right then he believed, he should've done something brave. He should've carried her.

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