Lt. Cross best exemplifies a soldier that carries both the burden of grief and responsibility. Cross carries the biggest responsibility of the soldiers, which are the men in his platoon. However, his preoccupation with his love for Martha leads to the death of Ted Lavender, and therefore Cross carries the burden and weight of grief due to his lack of responsibility. "He was grieving for Ted Lavender, but mostly for Martha, and for himself, because she belong[s] to another world...and because he [realizes] she [does] not love him and never [will]" (O 'Brien 220). Cross ' burden of grief from the loss of both Martha and Lavender, change his character for the better. Lavender 's death shows him the error in his ways, and that he cannot carry the weight of grief and guilt during a time of war along with carrying the responsibility for the lives of his men.
With emphasis, the author symbolizes ' Lt. Cross 's very name. This allusion to the Bible, and to the literal image of the cross, represents the greatest burden that has ever been carried. Lt. Cross ' name sake serves as an allegory to Christ. Cross, as Christ did, must carry the weight of all of his men upon his shoulders. He is responsible for the outcome of their lives. The weight of responsibility that Lt. Cross carries is one of the heaviest of burdens that the author expresses throughout the