Crytical Analysis

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  • Topic: New Jersey, Jersey Shore, Ocean County, New Jersey
  • Pages : 2 (623 words )
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  • Published : March 14, 2012
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In "The Things They Carried", by Tim O'Brien, the author portrays the soldiers' personalities through the things they carried on them. He also shows that some personalities aren't fit for war, you need to be strong. Throughout the story, he builds the characters personalities, and shows us who these people are, through their luggage. The main character, Jimmy Cross, is the platoon's leader. He is ordered to watch over everyone. Kiowa, a member of the platoon, is a very religious American Indian and is seen often in the story. Ted Lavender is recurrent throughout the story in Jimmy's mind. At the end of the story the significance of Pat Lavender is brought to attention.

Kiowa carries a hunting hatchet and a bible in his rucksack. "Kiowa, a devout Baptist, carried an illustrated New Testament that had been presented to him by his father, who taught Sunday school in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma" (117 O'Brien). Kiowa also "carried his grandmother's distrust of the white man, his grandfather's old hunting hatchet" (117 O'Brien). Kiowa is constantly disturbed about his surroundings but never wants to say so. Kiowa carries the bible because he is very religious. He reads the bible each night in his foxhole before he goes to bed. Kiowa makes Jimmy come to sense about the fantasies after Ted Lavenders death. Jimmy "shut down the daydreams. This was not Mount Sebastian, it was another world, where there were no pretty poems or midterm exams, a place where men died because of carelessness and gross stupidity. Kiowa was right. Boom-down, and you were dead, never partly dead" (128 O'Brien).

Lieutenant Jimmy Cross is the platoon’s commanding officer. He is consumed in this love for Martha, who is from his hometown. He can't push Martha out of his mind and concentrate on the war. Day and night is spent thinking of Martha and reading letters from her. At night he would dig his foxhole "wash his hands under a canteen, unwrap the letters, hold them with the tips of his fingers,...
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