Essay on The Things They Carried By Tim O ' Brien

1079 Words Dec 1st, 2014 5 Pages
Let Bridges Be Burned: The Physical, Mental, and Emotional Burdens in, “The Things They Carried”
“It doesn’t take a lot of strength to hang on. It takes a lot of strength to let go” by J.C. Watts. Watts’s expresses that you allow yourself to clench onto things, however do not allow yourself to withdraw from them. In the story, “The Things They Carried” Tim O’Brien’s portrayal of the soldiers’ “things” which are not just a physical load, but “things” can also be a mental and emotional load. The soldiers hold on to their previous life, which empowers their hardships. When O’Brien mentions “things” it is in both the literal and figurative aspects. “The soldiers in Lt. Cross’s platoon are what they carry. They are grunts because they carry ammunition and flares and water and rations and guns. The things they carry also holds the group together. Each man depends upon the other to share the load. But they are also defined as men, differentiated from the group because of the things they carry. The objects that comfort them individually may also alienate them from the others.” (Marton) The reader recognizes the relationship between the physical, mental, and emotional weight the soldier experiences during the war.
Lt. Cross is one of the main characters in the story, therefore the reader can analyze how his physical burdens crushes his mind and feelings. “He reverts to a familiar binary choice—either Martha or his men: “He felt shame. He hated himself. He had loved Martha more than…

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