The Things Vietnam Soldiers Carried With Them

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Tim O’Brien the author of “The Things They Carried” depicts a story of a young Lieutenant Jimmy Cross who is in love and is the leader of a platoon at the same time, throughout the story he depicts Cross as being in a dreamlike state and despite him snapping out of his dream like state and getting back to the task at hand, the story still continues in a dream like manner, why does O’Brien feel this is necessary? To understand why O’Brien does this we first have to look at the story. To start out he describes in third person the thoughts and actions of Jimmy Cross, the lieutenant of an Army platoon on a march through Vietnam. Lt. Cross is preoccupied by thoughts of Martha, a young woman he is actively dating. He thinks often about letters she wrote him, he thinks about whether or not she is a virgin and even though he loves her very much and longs to be with her, she doesn’t say in her letters that she feels the same. He next moves from Lt. Cross’s thoughts of Martha to what the soldiers carry with them, both physically and mentally, Starting with Lt. Cross’s letters from Martha and the two pictures of her, the first picture is of her playing tennis and the second is of her standing against a wall, he often thinks of who took the second picture, this leads him to wonder if Martha is a virgin or not, though he prefers to think of her as a virgin. O’Brien moves on to other members of Lt. Cross’s platoon beginning with Henry Dobbins who is a big man and there for carries extra food, Ted Lavender who is always very afraid and so he carries a lot of ammunition and tranquilizer pills, and Kiowa a Native American who has a distrust for white men, he carries a hunting hatchet, the New Testament and moccasins. Henry Dobbins carries a machine gun and his girlfriend's pantyhose. Dave Jensen carries soap, dental floss, foot powder, and vitamins. Mitchell Sanders the radio

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