Sep 18, Lyn rated it really liked it It was in the spring of and I was on patrol in Kirkuk Iraq with a unit in the st Airborne. We were in the Kurdish part of the city and it was a beautiful day in the bazaar. I came to love the Kurdish people, they were hardworking and resilient. No kidding, fair skin like me and RED hair.
Cross is preoccupied by thoughts of Martha, a young woman he dated before he joined the Army. He thinks about letters she wrote him; he thinks about whether or not she is a virgin; he thinks about how much he loves her and wants her to love him.
Her letters do not indicate that she feels the same way. The narrator lists things that the soldiers carry with them, both tangible and intangible, such as Lt. Cross's picture of and feelings for Martha.
Other members of the unit are introduced through descriptions of the things they carry, such as Henry Dobbins who carries extra food, Ted Lavender who carries tranquilizer pills, and Kiowa who carries a hunting hatchet. O'Brien introduces readers to the novel's primary characters by describing the articles that the soldiers carry.
The level of detail O'Brien offers about the characters is expanded upon and illuminated in the chapters that follow, though O'Brien distills the essence of each characters' personality through the symbolic items each carries. Henry Dobbins carries a machine gun and his girlfriend's pantyhose. Dave Jensen carries soap, dental floss, foot powder, and vitamins.
Mitchell Sanders carries condoms, brass knuckles, and the unit's radio. Norman Bowker carries a diary. Kiowa carries a volume of the New Testament and moccasins.
The narrator offers additional detail about selected items; for example, the poncho Ted Lavender carries will later be used by his fellow soldiers to carry his dead body. This device is an example of the author and narrator embedding small details in the text that will be further explained later in the book.
It is important to note, too, how the details are selective; they are recalled by a character, the unnamed narrator of the chapter. The details of what each man carries are funneled through the memory of this narrator. O'Brien details at great length what all the men carry: They also carry their grief, terror, love, and longing, with poise and dignity.
O'Brien's extended catalog of items creates a picture in the reader's mind that grows incrementally. O'Brien's technique also allows each character to be introduced with a history and a unique place within the group of men. Cross is singled out from the group, and O'Brien offers the most detail about his interior feelings and thoughts.
Many of these soldiers "hump," or carry, photographs, and Lieutenant Cross has an action shot of Martha playing volleyball.
He also carries memories of their date and regrets that he did not try to satisfy his desire to become intimate with her by tying her up and touching her knee.
O'Brien stresses that Lt. Cross carries all these things, but in addition carries the lives of his men. Analysis Even as O'Brien opens The Things They Carried, he sets forth the novel's primary themes of memory and imagination and the opportunity for mental escape that these powers offer.
For example, as Lt. Cross moves through the rigorous daily motions of combat duty, his mind dwells on Martha.
Importantly, as he thinks about Martha, he does not merely recall memories of her; instead he imagines what might be, such as "romantic camping trips" into the White Mountains in New Hampshire.
O'Brien describes these longings of Lt. O'Brien underscores the importance of Lt. Cross's actions by emphasizing the artifacts — Martha's letters and photograph — and characterizes Lt.
Cross as the carrier of these possessions as well as of his love for Martha. O'Brien moves from employing the literary technique of describing the soldiers' physical artifacts to introducing the novel's primary characters.
The minute details he provides about objects that individuals carry is telling, and particular attention should be paid to these details because they foreshadow the core narratives that comprise the novel.A summary of Symbols in Tim O’Brien's The Things They Carried.
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The Things They Carried - Kindle edition by Tim O'Brien. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading The Things They metin2sell.coms: K.
A summary of “Ambush” 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 study guide contains a biography of Tim O'Brien, literature essays, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.
About The Things They Carried The Things They Carried Summary. Nov 24, · “The Things They Carried” certainly qualifies, and so, in its modest way, does “The Vietnam in Me,” an essay by O’Brien included as a bonus, read by the author himself. Use this CliffsNotes The Things They Carried Study Guide today to ace your next test!
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