An Analysis of “The Things They Carried”
1. O’Brien’s story, “The Things They Carried,” is about a Lieutenant named Jimmy Cross mesmerizing and describing the memories he had of his fellow soldiers. Throughout the story, O’Brien talks about the love Lieutenant Cross had for a girl named Martha and the past stories of Lieutenants fellow soldiers. O’Brien went back and forth with Martha and the soldiers but most importantly, he described all the things the fellow soldiers carried with them before, through and after the Vietnam War. 2. I wasn’t surprised with this story much. O’Brien basically described what a person does in the life of a soldier. I could relate to Lieutenant Cross though of how much he missed Martha. I know what it feels like to have a loved one so far from you. But in this case, he was confused if she loved him at all. I was just too curious in why Lieutenant Cross described all the things his fellow soldiers carried. I questioned how much each thing meant to them and why was it so important that he needed to describe each thing. 3. The main character would have to be Lieutenant Cross. The story is written in third person meaning that O’Brien told the story of Lieutenant Cross. We know that he has a deep love for Martha and “he wanted Martha to love him as he loved her” (891). We also know that “Lieutenant Cross carried two photographs of Martha” (892) and when his fellow soldier Ted Lavender died, Lieutenant Cross though he was the blame. I say Lieutenant Cross is a round character. We know much about him and the story is somewhat about him. The story was mostly about past events that happened to Lieutenant Cross and that is why we know much about him and his journey through the Vietnam War. 4. I say Lieutenant Cross is a dynamic character. In the beginning of the story, he had this deep love for Martha and though he didn’t know her feelings for him as it states “he wondered what her truest feelings were, exactly…” (894)....
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