This is a book of short stories, some of his personal war tales, some. Sometimes he carries the pebble in his mouth, and has trouble thinking about the war because he loves Martha so much. They march just to march, not really thinking about where they're going. The things they carry are determined by necessity and what the army mandates, but also by each soldiers' personal quirks. Berdahl takes him out on a boat so he's only yards away from Canadian soil. They believed they had to uphold a certain kind of behavior.
They are aware that they might die at any moment, which drives them crazy. He saw Jimmy Cross cry, and he says that the Lieutenant really cares. All carry basic military goods and personal items: provisions, ammunition, and special ponchos that they may be wrapped in if they die. Henry Dobbins carries a machine gun and his girlfriend's pantyhose. He tells her about how, on that night, he wished he had taken her upstairs and tied her up so that he could touch her knee all night long. Summary An unnamed narrator describes in third person the thoughts and actions of Jimmy Cross, the lieutenant of an Army unit on active combat duty in the Vietnam War.
In the first week of April, just before Ted Lavender died, Lieutenant Jimmy Cross got a pebble as a good luck charm from Martha. Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders. The Things They Carried is as much about why one would tell stories at all as it is about war. He took the car up to the Canadian border, and a friendly hotel owner rowed him along a river right up to Canada. Cross's other character defect is his personal and emotional inability to lead Alpha Company. He has two pictures of her: one is of her standing against a brick wall, the other is of her playing volleyball in college.
He feels both love and hate for her. Cross says that Martha gave him a new one at their college reunion in 1979 after he told her he still loved her. And that's okay; this book is kind of about things not making sense, so don't feel bad. The rest of the men sit down to wait. GradeSaver, 3 April 2009 Web. Kiowa told O'Brien he had no choice but to kill the armed man on the path.
A young man named Mark Fossie imported in his American girlfriend. Women such as Martha affect the men of the Alpha Company by providing them with emotional ties that anchor these soldiers to reality as they make. O'Brien tells the story of Rat Kiley's reaction to Curt Lemon's death as an example, as well as Mitchell Sanders' story about a platoon of soldiers that started having auditory hallucinations. Though he knows things will continue to be difficult, Cross appears to have accepted that as an officer, he is responsible for his men. The emphasis is on Ted Lavender, the scared one, who carried tranquilizers. Lemon stepped into the sunlight and onto a rigged mortar round. Young men go to war and come out with countless stories and scars from their adventures.
Khe Sahn was thought of as an important strategic location for both the Americans and the North Vietnamese. So they pack up their gear and head down the mountain, where their colonel asks them what they heard. They reminisce, drinking coffee and looking at old photographs of their Company. O'Brien presents to his readers both a war memoir and a writer's autobiography, and complicates this presentation by creating a fictional protagonist who shares his name. Later, when the soldiers have left the village, Azar dances like the girl in a mocking way. Anonymous College Although female characters play a small role in The Things They Carried, it is a significant one. He lies and says he hasn't, but then addresses the story to an adult Kathleen and promises to give the truth.
Lieutenant Jimmy Cross feels determined to excel as a Lieutenant now and protect his men. The details of what each man carries are funneled through the memory of this narrator. This technique of cataloging the things the soldiers carry also functions to create fuller composites of the characters, and by extension make the characters seem more real to readers. Sook-Hee Evans 11th Grade Throughout war literature, characters of soldiers are fundamentally exposed. Lavender carried extra rounds for protection but still got shot dead, showing death in war does not reward the prepared. But the feeling evoked is similar: static lists make the characters seem already dead, prematurely mourned. Jimmy Cross as an inexperienced and ill-equipped leader of Alpha Company, both in-country and at a post-war reunion.
In October Lee Strunk steps on a mortar and loses his leg as a result of the accident. He describes a story that Mitchell Sanders tells. He explores loss of sanity and purpose very effectively. 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. His daughter Kathleen asks about the old farmer staring at O'Brien and thinks he looks angry, but O'Brien says that's all over. Kiowa keeps insisting that O'Brien quit staring at the body and talk to him.
The seemingly straightforward recollections slowly reveal dense layers of personal and metaphorical meanings. Bowker has convinced himself he would have won the Silver Star if he had pulled Kiowa out, and that Kiowa would still be alive. Jared Matthew Jageler 10th Grade It is one of the greatest paradoxes in literature: a made-up story is more accurate than a factual story. 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. As a writer, O'Brien constantly analyzes and comments upon how stories are told and why they are told. Even though these men had things they had to carry, they elected to carry more.
Before they do that, they're supposed to search them—a pretty terrifying job. In one, she's playing volleyball, and he's almost sure that she's a virgin these facts are not related. It seems incomprehensible, so it must be true, he writes. He remembers kissing her goodnight at her dorm. We learn that the soldiers carry lots of things, from guns to fear to expectations.