Andrew J. Rodriguez
April 16, 2012
The Things They Carried
During the Vietnam War Jimmy Cross was tasked as the lieutenant in the Vietnam War in Tim Obrien’s The Things They Carried. He took responsibility full of challenges past warfare. The war was a very psychological war for the positioned soldiers in the army. The strange environment that included shady places, waiting corners, diseases and death other than the problems they carried from home. Every soldier there held on to something that kept them bound to their previous life. Jimmy Cross carried his love for Martha. Jimmy’s love for Martha was in hesitantly controlling over his entire life. Jimmy imagined himself loving her and her loving him the same way back: "More than anything, he wanted Martha to love him as he loved her, but the letters were mostly chatty..."(495), blinded by the truth held in the letters that Martha didn't feel the same way he continued to feel passion. Jimmy Cross feelings for Martha is said to be the cause of Ted lavender death. Surviving the war wasn’t as an accomplishment as everyone thought. Jimmy Cross figured it out the hard way. Norman Bowker was a man who represents the damage that a war leaves in a soldier after the war . Norman Bowker’s sorrow and confusion are so powerful that they prompt him to drive without direction around his hometown in “Speaking of Courage”.Bowker also wrote a seventeen-page letter to Tim O’Brien explaining how he never felt right after the war in and to hang himself at the end of the chapter. “War is often… a mass release of accumulated internal rage where the inner fears of mankind of fulfill in mass destruction” was the best summary that was given about war by psychoanalyst Joost Meerloo. War is a mental land mine. The psychological damage of war is so severe that it leaves the threat of hurting someone or yourself. This is known as PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder). Soldiers’...
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