The Things They Carry

Topics: Fiction, Short story, The Elements Pages: 2 (743 words) Published: February 5, 2006
Isaac Conover
English 113

The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien's short story, The Things They Carried , is a phenomenal story that displays the elements of fiction which conveys the idea of the author. All through the story the author demonstrates the crucial elements of fiction to create a well written story. The author gives readers a beginning, middle, and an end which satisfies the reader's call for descriptive text. The Things They Carried is a well written story and holds a reader's attention.

All well written stories have a beginning, middle, and an end. This is the first element of fiction. In the beginning of The Things They Carried, the author gives a vivid description of First Lieutenant Jimmy Cross. This is the protagonist for The Things They Carried. Jimmy Cross is distracted by the love for a girl named Martha who is back home. Cross feels that it is his distraction that leads to the death of one of the men in his unit, Ted Lavender. This is the rising action of the story. Cross's unit consists of 16 men; Henry Dobbins, Dave Jensen, Lee Strunk, Ted Lavender, Mitchell Sanders, Norman Bowker, Rat Kiley, and Kiowa. These men all react in different ways to the death of Lavender. It is the death of Lavender that leads Cross to burn the things he carried that reminded him of Martha. Cross feels responsible for Ted's death and decides to change the way he leads the men in his unit. Things for the men will be different then what they are used to but it is for the best. In the middle of The Things They Carried , the author describes how each man reacted differently to the death of Lavender. " He had loved Martha more than his men, and as a consequence Lavender was now dead, and this was something he would have to carry like a stone in his stomach for the rest of the war"(81). It is in the end, that Cross will not tolerate laxity. The conclusion is that he will now lead his men differently than in the beginning, "He would...

Cited: O 'Brien, Tim. "The Things They Carried." Literature: An Introduction To Reading and Writing. Ed. Edgar V. Roberts and Henry E. Jacobs. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2003.
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