Professor C. Goodison
March 3, 2014
In “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien, the main character, Jimmy Cross drafted into the United States Army where he served as an infantryman in Vietnam. In the beginning of the story O’Brien, introduce Jimmy Cross as the Lieutenant who is in love with his college crush, Martha. These points lead to the transformation of Lieutenant Cross actions, in which he matures from a man deeply in love to a leader ready to take reasonability.
To be a lieutenant in the army one has to lead from the front and put their troops first but with Jimmy Cross being a leader was worthless. In the story, O’Brien uses vivid images to show his audience both the physical and mental “things” the characters carry throughout the story, which allows us, the reader, to see how the characters react to war. For example, Lieutenant Jimmy …show more content…
They were a symbol of the love he wanted her to feel for him so he carried them everywhere, but when Lavender died, he burned them showing the climax of Lieutenant Cross transformation. Burning these two things in the rain showed his struggle in letting go and taking the first step in being a leader. Even though Martha items were gone, he had her image and her words stunk in his head. He tried to erase them but all he could see was “Martha playing volleyball in her white gym shorts and yellow T-shirt” (357). The guilt and grief he felt for Lavender’s death was so powerful that he was forced to forget about a girl who did not love him. After burning her letters and photographs, he finally understood that what he had with Martha was not real and that she belonged to another world. “Lieutenant Cross reminded himself that his obligation was not to be loved but to lead,” (358) he would stop daydreaming and get rid of his feelings towards Martha. He would now be and always be