The Leader Without Leadership- The Things They Carried

Topics: Leadership, Vietnam War, Blame Pages: 2 (749 words) Published: November 19, 2013
English III (B)

The Leader Without Leadership
During the war, there must be a leader who is responsible for the whole team and is able to lead a group of people. In the novel, The Things They Carried written by Tim O’Brien shows many different kinds of leaders during the Vietnam War. Jimmy Cross is one of the leaders in the book. He represents the failure as being a lieutenant of Alpha Company. As being a failure, he often gets distracts on a girl named Martha, who is his unrequested college sweetheart. He gets no respect from his team as being their leader and he is irresponsible for the dead members in his team.

The biggest problem for Jimmy Cross that being a failure is the distraction of a girl he loves called Martha. During the war, Jimmy cannot stop thinking of Martha even for a minute. He puts all of his attention into Martha no matter what situation he has in the dangerous environment. Once, Lieutenant Cross is having a difficulty of the tunnel might cave-in anytime. According to the description of Jimmy Cross, “Kneeling watching the hole, he tried to concentrate on Lee Strunk and the war, all the dangers but his love was too much for him, he felt paralyzed, he wanted to sleep inside her lungs and breathe her blood and be smothered.”(11) Jimmy tries to move his attention on the serious problem of what he is facing in the tunnel with Lee Strunk; however, his mind still shifts by Martha. As a leader of the team, he did not put the team in the first place. He becomes a careless leader in leading his members to fight in the war. The thing that he only cares is still Martha. “On occasion he would yell at his men to spread out the column, to keep their eyes open, but then he would slip away into daydreams just pretending, walking barefoot along the Jersey shore, with Martha, carrying nothing.”(8) He seems to care his team but he still fails on distracting his mind by women. Another example of being a failure as a leader is that gains less respect from...
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