thing they carried

Topics: Emotion / Pages: 3 (723 words) / Published: Feb 8th, 2014
Essay on “The Things They Carried” In the story "The Things They Carried," by Tim O'Brien, discusses a group of American soldiers marching through Vietnam during the war. The narrator is describing the items that each of the soldiers carries with him during the march through Vietnam. The items that the soldiers carried with them are both symbolic and physical items and what these things are depends upon the individual soldier. They carry the basic necessities for survival and the bare minimum to make their life as livable and comfortable as possible. They also carry memories, and fears, and it is these symbolic items like these that are the prime focus of the story. The weight of these items is as real as that of any physical ones, and unlike those physical objects, they do not go away. In the story the narrator switches between narrative passages and describes the items that are carried by the soldiers. This breakdown shows focus to the things the men are carrying, both literal and symbolic without interfering with how the narrator is describing everything in the story. In the description of the story, the narrator (O'Brien) is very exact in his description. He talks about jimmy "As a first lieutenant and platoon leader, Jimmy Cross carried a compass, maps, code books, binoculars, and a .45 caliber pistol that weighed 2.9 pounds full loaded."(Page 98, Para: 8). When describing the symbolic items the writing is a lot more focused with the emotions of the characters: "Jimmy Cross humped his love for Martha up the hills and through the swamps...Lieutenant Cross remembered touching [her] left knee. A dark theater, he remembered,...when he touched her knee, she turned and looked at him in a sad, sober way that made him pull his hand back, but he would always remember." (Page 98, Para: 4)The narrator gives a more emotional response. He does this to give emphasis to the symbolic things that the men carried. The narrator does not hesitate to talk about

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