The Things They Carried Questions
1. Lt. Cross is a weak leader because the traditional training he received is at odds with what he faces in-country. His training forced him to be concerned more with marching in line, following fixed maps, and keeping guns clean rather than adapting to his environment and the attitude of his men. Lt. Cross attempts to persuade himself of his own ability by relying on typical operating procedure after Lavender is killed to exonerate himself from feelings of personal blame in Lavender's death as well as his pitiful want for Martha's love. Lt. Cross’s concerns unifies the story because of his strong love for Martha, who maintain a strong link to love and his life at home. 2. O'Brien uses the repetition of words to create a particular comprehension that the men are always carrying “things,” whether it is a physical weight or an emotional weight. The sense of annoyance that the reader may feel by the constant repeating of the words is a technique used by O’Brien to connect the reader to the characters. 3. Mitchell Sanders was unable to put into words the moral of the dead man’s thumb because there is a bit of an irony going on: the men are in one of the world’s most inhospitable places and everything seemed controversial. 4. In paragraph 39, it describes the men carrying all sorts of objects, ranging from tangible objects to inner emotions. For example, they carry a psychologically, emotionally, and physically burden, and also infections, tropical parasites, and, literally, the soil of Vietnam itself, and they do so endlessly.
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