He does this by describing the items that each of them carries with him during the march. The things that the soldiers carry with them are both tangible and intangible items and what these things are depends upon the individual soldier. But they also carry memories, and fears, and it is intangible items like these that are the prime focus of the story. The weight of these abstract items is as real as that of any physical ones, and unlike those physical objects, they are not so easily cast away.
Ronosaurus Rex The Burden of Life: The Things They Carried is also the name of what could be called a short-story collection or perhaps a meta-fictional novel. Although the opening story stands alone as a work of fiction, it also functions as an introduction to the larger book. He interweaves fact and fiction in the story and throughout the book to give the reader a more comprehensive sense of what it was really like to fight in Vietnam, to live in the face of death, and to carry on a purposeless existence.
The reader is at first surprised by this technique, perhaps a little put off, then gets caught up in the realistic details. The story has a cumulative effect, as telling detail is built up item by item, section by section, and slowly transformed into a sweating, bleeding work of art. The opening section, which reads like realistic fiction, describes the most significant items First Lieutenant Jimmy Cross carried: This apparently establishes unrequited love as the central conflict in the story.
The theme of unrequited love, reexamined in alternating sections of the story, sets up expectations that are never met, but subverted as the central conflict is transformed into something else.
The central tension comes between his imaginary love affair and the real responsibilities he has as lieutenant. Is the lieutenant going to die for his men or save them somehow from their sins? Pound cake covered in peaches is not what we would expect from a battle-hardened soldier, but its specificity makes it believable.
Why are comic books necessary? Without being told, we understand that Rat Kiley needs them to distract himself from the war. He may also use them to divert the wounded men he treats. Yet at this point, his death has almost no impact on the reader. Lavender is mentioned again later in the same section: Whether the reader approves of drug use or not, we are easily persuaded that tranquilizers and dope might help him cope with the imminent and engulfing presence of death.
Christianity seems at first to be the most significant aspect of his character, since his religion is mentioned before his racial background, yet the only use we see Kiowa make of the New Testament is as a pillow.
The third section begins with two slang terms for soldiers: A soldier, at least in the Vietnam War, was defined in terms of carrying: Cross carried many things he needed in order to lead his men effectively: The narrator spends a good deal of time quantifying the weight of the things the soldiers carried.
But how much does fear weigh? As much as the extra ammunition and protective gear and dope and tranquilizers Lavender carried? Later in the story, abstract fear is described as the heaviest thing a soldier carries: Lieutenant Cross felt the pain.
But whose pain did Cross feel?
Lavender died instantly and so he felt no pain. Here Cross begins to assume some of the allegorical implications of his name.
The dead soldier, who is no longer a grunt defined by what he humps, is carried to a dry paddy to wait for a helicopter, which will carry him away. Lavender is freed, but his death becomes a burden for the other soldiers, because they must take on his equipment and move his body, because Kiowa must deal with the shock of his death, because Cross feels he must accept responsibility.
This does not matter to the lieutenant; he had been caught up in a hopeless daydream instead of focusing on his real responsibilities as leader and a soldier died. Everything associated with Martha seems weightless, as weightless as a fantasy.A summary of “The Things They Carried” in Tim O’Brien's The Things They Carried.
Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of The Things They Carried and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans. A summary of Themes in Tim O’Brien's The Things They Carried. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of The Things They Carried and what it means.
Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans. the psychological burdens the men carry during the war continue to define them. Those. Tim O’Brien received the National Book Award for Going After urbanagricultureinitiative.com his other books are The Things They Carried, Pulitzer Finalist and a New York Times Book of the Century, and In the Lake of the Woods, winner of the James Fenimore Cooper urbanagricultureinitiative.com was awarded the Pritzker Literature Award for lifetime achievement in military writing in Wilfred Owen's Dulce Et Decorum Est, Tim OBrien's The Things They Carried, and Siegfried Sassoon's Suicide in the Trenches - Wilfred Owen's Dulce Et Decorum Est, Tim OBrien's The Things They Carried, and Siegfried Sassoon's Suicide in the Trenches Many war pieces express a distinct sense of truth, hatred, and anger that can be found in the style, tone, and imagery they possess.
A summary of “The Things They Carried” in Tim O’Brien's The Things They Carried. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of The Things They Carried and what it means.
Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans. “The Things They Carried” Men killed, and died, because they were embarrassed not to. (See Important Quotations Explained) Summary. Lieutenant Jimmy Cross, of the Alpha Company, carries various reminders of his love for Martha, a girl from his college in New Jersey who has given no indication of returning his love.