The Things They Carried

Paper Rating: Word Count: 1022 Approx Pages: 4

"The Things They Carried  is a short story by author Tim O'Brien. It is a fictional account of an American officer, Lieutenant Jimmy Cross, and his soldiers serving in Vietnam. The story begins with a description of the equipment the men are required or chose to carry with them as they patrol Vietnam. Interwoven in the story amidst the descriptions of the men's possessions, fears, attitudes, is the story of how Ted Lavender, one of the men, dies. Jimmy is constantly daydreaming about a girl he loves, who does not love him. The platoon is ordered to go destroy a tunnel system near a village in Than Khe. After the tunnel was cleared, Tom Lavender is shot in the head while returning to the platoon after relieving himself. The central idea of the story is people who neglect their responsibilities often need to experience the results of their failure in order to change.

The main character in this story is Lieutenant Jimmy Cross, who is a 22-year-old Army officer from New Jersey. He believes that he should not be leading his men. " ¦He could not bring himself to worry about matters of security. He was beyond that. He was just a kid at war, in love.  Jimmy is in love with Martha, a girl back home.

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