Epiphany In The Things They Carried

986 Words 4 Pages
Elizabeth Hurwitz
ENG – L 203
Essay 1
25 September, 2017
“The Things They Carried” By Tim O’Brien In “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien, the author highlights an internal realization in the main character which further uncovers the central theme of emotional and physical burdens in humans at war. He uncovers this theme through the epiphany of the main character, Lieutenant Jimmy Cross, when one of his men die while he is daydreaming about life at home and a woman who does not feel as strongly about him as he does her. Cross realizes that his distraction endangers all his men and quickly becomes a strong leader. He learns he cannot be at war while escaping to moments at home and daydreaming about Martha without facing the realities
…show more content…
This can be first seen when he is looking at his pictures of Martha and is daydreaming about a date they had when the narrator states, “He remembered kissing her good night at the dorm door. Right then, he thought, he should've done something brave. He should've carried her up the stairs to her room and tied her to the bed and touched that left knee all night long. He should've risked it. Whenever he looked at the photographs, he thought of new things he should've done.” The type of language used gives the reader a clear image of Cross’s daydream, as it further exposes how deeply he would get into these fantasies and distracted from his missions. This quote also allows us to gain strong insight on the obsession he had of his life at home, even when the narrator even mentions his longing for the new things he would do if he had the opportunity to go home. During this This imagery allows us to understand how the loss of Ted Lavender led him to the belief that he and Martha and the opportunity to live a life in America will never be achieved during a life of warfare and …show more content…
Not only is the trauma of being a solider during war a heavy burden, but also the life Cross is missing while at war takes a toll on him psychologically. In the beginning of the story, we learn that more than anything Jimmy wants to be loved by Martha just as much as he loves her. Though he knows she does not love him the same, she becomes the main focus of his world, leading to his constant distraction which is a heavy weight he bears upon his shoulders. This weight leads to him feeling responsible for one of his men dying and can be understood when the narrator states, “He had loved Martha more than his men, and as consequence Lavender was now dead, and this was something he would have to carry like a stone in his stomach for the rest of the war”. The language used by O’Brien not only underscores the pain felt by Cross for believing he could have both a life in America and life at war, but also carefully reveals his epiphany of letting go of his life in America to become a true war

Related Documents