Main Principle Character In Tim O’Brien’s “The Th

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Fiction Essay The main principle character in Tim O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried” is First Lieutenant Jimmy Cross. O’Brien describes the items, troubles, and burdens that Lieutenant Cross and his platoon carry with them through the tough struggles in the Vietnam War. Lieutenant Cross is sensitive and often caught daydreaming about a girl named Martha whom he is in love with, but she does not love him back. In the 1946 short story, “The Things They Carried, the author, Tim O’Brien uses sensitivity, fear of being fearful, and struggle to establish the theme of the physical and emotional burdens that soldiers during the Vietnam War had to bear. First Lieutenant Jimmy Cross has many personality traits that shape the theme of O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried.” Lieutenant Cross shows a sensitive side throughout the story. First it is shown in his love for Martha, a girl from back home that does not love him the same way. The author O’Brien states “More than anything, he wanted Martha to love him as he loved her, but the letters were mostly chatty, elusive on the matter of love” (97). Cross would often daydream about Martha, her imaginary love kept him going. His love for her was also a huge distraction from what truly was important. Lieutenant Cross shows shame and fear. His love for Martha distracted him so much that Ted Lavender, a soldier in his platoon, died under his watch. O’Brien states, “He felt shame. He hated himself. He had loved Martha more than his men, and as a consequence Lavender was now dead, and this was something he would have to carry like a stone in his stomach for the rest of the war” (103). Cross was ashamed; he is a leader and was not there for his soldiers. Now he has the burden for a soldier that died at his hands. The last personality trait that First Lieutenant Jimmy Cross demonstrates is bravery. There were many times

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