The Things They Carried

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1. Jimmy’s love for Martha is in a very real and literal sense in his mind. This love was constructed in part from a brief encounter they had in the past and established and elaborated on, by his loneliness and battle fatigue brought on by the war. I believe he has constructed this relationship with her because of this. It’s not entirely clear in the story if his love is genuine or merely a catalyst or distraction to transport him away from the world he now lives in, where there is no love or morality only death, pain, and destruction. 2. Jimmy seems to mostly think of Martha when he is feeling alone, when things have become still, or the war has become too much and he has to escape. This is why when his platoon member is in the tunnel, he thinks of her because he knows the place he is in and the danger he could face. It all becomes too much and Jimmy needs to escape for a time. 3. Ted Lavender’s death could be described as a result of carelessness. Maybe in the story he is described of being fearful to the point he was self medicating to numb himself to the reality that surrounded him. On the other hand later in the story the author eliminated the fact of “in times of war men will sometimes do anything escape”, maybe in some respect Ted was inviting death as means of relief. 4. I believe Jimmy uses this excuse to justify actions and behavior of ordinary men and sometimes even boy’s place an extraordinary and incredibly stressful situations. It excuses him because he falls into the same category of everyone else in the same situation. There are times when men regardless of differences can come together because they all understand a common thread. On the other hand Jimmy’s ranking of Lieutenant places him in a position of leadership and the tie that holds and protects the lives of other and must disassociate himself from excuses to do this. 5. The soldiers make jokes about the war to minimalize what is happening. If you can laugh about something it...
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