Martha Leads To Lavender's Death In The Things They Carried

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The reader may disagree with Cross’s conclusion that his fantasies about Martha leads to Lavender’s death. The text merely says that at the time that Lavender was shot, “Lieutenant Cross nodded and closed his eyes” while the other men cracked jokes. The crucial issue here, however, is not the physical realities of the circumstances surrounding one soldier’s death but its emotional implications. Cross sees the events in stark, black-and-white terms: Martha or his men. There is no room for compromise in the world he now inhabits. Only 24 years old and not a risk-taker, as demonstrated by his chaste relationship with Martha, Cross has the safety of his men in his hands, and he cannot juggle two priorities; as the text states, “He was just a kid at war, in love.” Cross’s method of symbolic reasoning finds further emphasis in his digging of a foxhole that night and crawling inside, thus repeating the fantasy playing out in his head in the moments before Lavender’s death. There he comes to the realization that Martha “did not love him and never would,” a fact obvious to the story’s readers. With his love for Martha forbidden to him — or at the least, transformed into a “hard, hating kind of love” — Jimmy Cross turns to what can substitute as its…show more content…
. . the physical items that form the story’s structural backbone. . . the absence of much of a plot in the thing.” In many ways, “The Things They Carried” is a pure warstory. It has camaraderie, despair, violence and death, duty, longing and desire. “It was very sad,” Jimmy Cross thinks, “The things men carried inside. The things men did or felt they had to do.” In the world of Vietnam and the world of “The Things They Carried,” there is little room for anything

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