The Things They Carried By Tim O ' Brien Essay

1319 Words May 11th, 2015 6 Pages
Illusions of Love In Tim O’Brien’s short story “The Things They Carried,” First Lieutenant Jimmy Cross is torn between the love he deserts at home and the troops he is assigned to protect in Vietnam. Under multiple circumstances Lieutenant Cross is found daydreaming about his “love” for Martha rather than focusing on the task at hand. Lieutenant Cross is blind in thinking that Martha returns the love that he endures for her; however, she still seems to remain in the forefront of his mind. Ted Lavender, one of Lieutenant Cross’s men, dies in the line of duty, and Lieutenant Cross is stricken with guilt because of Lavender’s death, but why? The narrator of Mary Oliver’s poem “Singapore” may say he encounters guilt because this traumatic event rips the darkness from his eyes. It is not until after the death of Ted Lavender that Lieutenant Cross truly understands the depth of his distraction with Martha. Due to severe disillusionment stemming from a distant love, Lieutenant Jimmy Cross fails to follow through with his duties as a commanding officer in protecting and aiding his disconcerted platoon resulting in a flood of guilt and pain on his conscience. Before Ted Lavender’s death, Lieutenant Jimmy Cross’s distracting infatuation with Martha is evident through the items he carries as well as the thoughts that are present in his mind. Lieutenant Cross and the men in his platoon all carry different items based off of necessity or superstition among other reasons. Lieutenant…

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