They have been ordered to set ambushes, execute night patrols, and search out and destroy the massive tunnel complexes south of Chu Lai constructed by Viet Cong guerrillas.
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. This technique of cataloging the things the soldiers carry also functions to create fuller composites of the characters, and by extension make the characters seem more real to readers.
This aesthetic of helping readers connect with his characters is O'Brien's primary objective in the novel, to make readers feel the story he presents as much as is physically and emotionally possible, as if it were real.
Though the minutiae that O'Brien includes — for example the weight of a weapon, the weight of a radio, the weight of a grenade in ounces — seems superfluous, it is supposed to be accretive in his readers' imaginations so that they can begin to feel the physical weight of the burdens of war, as well as, eventually, the psychological and emotional burdens so much as it is possible for a non-witness to war to perceive.
O'Brien's attention to sensory detail also supports this primary objective of evoking a real response in the reader.The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien. Home / Literature / The Things They Carried / The Things They Carried Analysis Literary Devices in The Things They Carried.
So right after he published The Things They Carried (in which O'Brien told us that he'd gone back to Vietnam, which wasn't true), O'Brien actually did go back to Vietnam.
Analysis “On the Rainy River” is an exploration of the role of shame in war. The story develops the theme of embarrassment as a motivating factor, first introduced by Jimmy Cross in “The Things They Carried” and “Love.”. 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. Mar 24, · 'The Things They Carried,' 20 Years On In war, there are no winners. That's what readers take away from Tim O'Brien's book about the Vietnam .
Character Analysis. There are three important Tim O'Briens in the story: Tim the Soldier, Tim the Writer, and Timmy the Kid.
Heck, he doesn't even mention himself and what he carries in "The Things They Carried"!
In fact, Tim the Writer uses The Things They Carried to do the same thing for his friends who've died in Vietnam. Lesson plan for Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien includes engaging student activities for text analysis, characters, themes, literary devices & conflict.
they carried jungle boots— pounds—and Dave Jensen carried three pairs of socks and a can of Dr. Scholl's foot powder as a precaution against trench foot. The Things They Carried is a collection of short stories by Tim O’Brien that was first published in Summary & Analysis “The Things They Carried” Get ready to write your paper on The Things They Carried with our suggested essay topics, sample essays, and more. Analysis “On the Rainy River” is an exploration of the role of shame in war. The story develops the theme of embarrassment as a motivating factor, first introduced by Jimmy Cross in “The Things They Carried” and “Love.”.
Perform a TWIST analysis of a selection from The Things They Carried. Remember that TWIST stands .