Lieutenant Jimmy Cross In The Things They Carried

The Vietnam War was a changing point in American history. Causing high tensions between the US and the Communists parties around the globe, the Vietnam War was another way people were effected by conflict. The Communist conflict in Vietnam effected soldiers and even the people back in the United States. There were rallies against the war. People were parading in the streets of Washington DC promoting the extraction of American soldiers from a war that they believe made no sense. Some anti-war demonstrations left protestors horribly wounded or even killed for their efforts in trying to stop the war. The United States was in shambles. When people asked, “Why”, there wasn’t a straight answer. History now tells us that it was tough to explain why …show more content…
Things like death and a sense of homesickness hurt these men greatly. Sometimes the characters seemed to accept death because they knew it was going to happen, but some characters were sometimes affected a lot more than others. In O’Brien’s stories about Ted Lavender, he always mentions how he was the one to get shot in the head (12). O’Brien seems very passive about death, but one of his characters, Lieutenant Jimmy Cross, is someone who is affected by the death of one of his men, Ted Lavender. Through the beginning of the story, Cross was struck by his love for a girl back home, Martha (2). Martha was a person that distracted him from everything, even a loud and crazy war. When he and his troop discovered Lavenders body on the ground after he had been shot, Lieutenant Cross was a completely changed man. The death of one of his men brought Cross down to a new emotional level. He began throwing the things sent to him by what he called the love of his life, Martha. Letters and small gifts were now seen as distractions, and he rid his whole rucksack of them because he felt that he loved Martha more than his men (16). This is one of the greatest examples of how death affected the people who fought in the Vietnam

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