The Things They Carried Analyzed

Topics: Vietnam War, Love, Army Pages: 2 (622 words) Published: September 15, 2013
Title: The Things They Carried Analyzed Essay
Throughout The Things They Carried, Tim O'Brien uses both truth and fiction to potray the events and feelings a soldier encounters during war. While using fiction, O'Brien also applies symbolism through the use of women to show certain aspects of what men in the Vietnam War experienced mentally. O'Brien includes his ten year old daughter, Kathleen, who is oblivious to the tragedies of war. As well as his daughter, O'Brien introduces a young girl named Linda. Linda was O'Brien's first love in the fifth grade, who died due to brain cancer. The author also uses two other women, who are adults, to convey more mature messages throughout his book. One of the women is Mary Anne, Fossie's sweetheart. Mary Anne is said to have come to Vietnam to visit her boyfriend. Martha, Jimmy Cross's love, is another significant woman in his book. Martha was always on Cross's mind and he looked forward to seeing her when he made it back home. O'Brien uses the women in his book as a theme that potrays softer emotional aspects that were present in the men before, but that progressively disappeared during the Vietnam War.

In the short story "The Things Carried" Martha is always on Jimmy Cross's mind. He constantly catches himself thinking of her. Cross day dreams of Martha often, staring at her picture and imagining her back home. Cross loved Martha and had a great hope that they would be reunited and form a more serious relationship when he arrived back home. Although Cross loved Martha, she failed to return the feelings he had for her. Despite the lack of love he was getting in return, he continued to hold onto the thought of Martha. With the thought of the two of them together, sharing love for each other Cross had something to look forward to, regardless of the fact that he understood that the feeling was most likely not mutual. Martha represents, in a almost a literal sense, the things the men carried with them from...
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