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Cross is preoccupied by thoughts of Martha, a young woman he dated before he joined the Army. He thinks about letters she wrote him; he thinks about whether or not she is a virgin; he thinks about how much he loves her and wants her to love him.
Her letters do not indicate that she feels the same way.
The narrator lists things that the soldiers carry with them, both tangible and intangible, such as Lt. Cross's picture of and feelings for Martha. Other members of the unit are introduced through descriptions of the things they carry, such as Henry Dobbins who carries extra food, Ted Lavender who carries tranquilizer pills, and Kiowa who carries a hunting hatchet.
O'Brien introduces readers to the novel's primary characters by describing the articles that the soldiers carry. The level of detail O'Brien offers about the characters is expanded upon and illuminated in the chapters that follow, though O'Brien distills the essence of each characters' personality through the symbolic items each carries.
Henry Dobbins carries a machine gun and his girlfriend's pantyhose. Dave Jensen carries soap, dental floss, foot powder, and vitamins. Mitchell Sanders carries condoms, brass knuckles, and the unit's radio.
Norman Bowker carries a diary. Kiowa carries a volume of the New Testament and moccasins. The narrator offers additional detail about selected items; for example, the poncho Ted Lavender carries will later be used by his fellow soldiers to carry his dead body.
This device is an example of the author and narrator embedding small details in the text that will be further explained later in the book. It is important to note, too, how the details are selective; they are recalled by a character, the unnamed narrator of the chapter.
The details of what each man carries are funneled through the memory of this narrator. O'Brien details at great length what all the men carry: They also carry their grief, terror, love, and longing, with poise and dignity. O'Brien's extended catalog of items creates a picture in the reader's mind that grows incrementally.
O'Brien's technique also allows each character to be introduced with a history and a unique place within the group of men. Cross is singled out from the group, and O'Brien offers the most detail about his interior feelings and thoughts.
Many of these soldiers "hump," or carry, photographs, and Lieutenant Cross has an action shot of Martha playing volleyball. He also carries memories of their date and regrets that he did not try to satisfy his desire to become intimate with her by tying her up and touching her knee.
O'Brien stresses that Lt. Cross carries all these things, but in addition carries the lives of his men. Analysis Even as O'Brien opens The Things They Carried, he sets forth the novel's primary themes of memory and imagination and the opportunity for mental escape that these powers offer.
For example, as Lt. Cross moves through the rigorous daily motions of combat duty, his mind dwells on Martha. Importantly, as he thinks about Martha, he does not merely recall memories of her; instead he imagines what might be, such as "romantic camping trips" into the White Mountains in New Hampshire.
O'Brien describes these longings of Lt. O'Brien underscores the importance of Lt. Cross's actions by emphasizing the artifacts — Martha's letters and photograph — and characterizes Lt. Cross as the carrier of these possessions as well as of his love for Martha.The Things They Carried Tim O'Brien (Full name William Timothy O'Brien) American novelist, short-story writer, memoirist, and journalist.
The following entry presents criticism on O'Brien's short. They were told to do certain things that they were not able to contradict and even say an opinion about those things.
In this novel, physical imprisonment is easier to dealt with than the imprisonment of emotions and choice. In The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien we have the theme of escape, conflict, guilt, acceptance and responsibility. Taken from his collection of the same name the story is narrated in the third person and after first reading the story the reader becomes aware of the significance of the title of the story.
O'Brien's purpose in telling The Things They Carried is twofold; to tell a war story, and to explore the purpose of storytelling itself. Beginning with "How to Tell a .
Sep 11, · The Things They Carried The Things They Carried, by Tim O'Brien, is a generalization of his own experiences in Vietnam although the story itself is a work of fiction there is still much to be learned from it.
In The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien we have the theme of escape, conflict, guilt, acceptance and responsibility. Taken from his collection of the same name the story is narrated in the third person and after first reading the story the reader becomes aware of the significance of the title of the story.