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Fake Love in The Things They Carried by Tim O´Brian Essay

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“Loneliness remains a strong presence enveloping the soldiers long after the war is over. Jimmy Cross, for example, feels bereft after the war because his hope for happiness in Martha is dashed by her rejection.” (Loneliness and Isolation.) While reading the book The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brian, a reader can easily come across many items that represent certain things for the carrier. All these items are symbols for those men and women. For Example, Lieutenant Jimmy Cross “humps” --a word O'Brian used at the beginning of the book to open this point-- his love for a woman named Martha and the danger it causes his men and him. This woman does not feel the same love for Jimmy Cross as he does for Martha, but he holds on to this hope…show more content…
The other is of Martha in a volleyball uniform. In this picture Martha is using her left knee to hold all her weight as she plays. Jimmy Cross cant stop looking at Martha's knee. Its like he is in a trance staring at her knee. While on a date with Martha to see Bonnie and Clyde, Jimmy Cross laid his hand on Martha's knee; she then gave him a look of disgust causing him to remove his hand. Later, he admired the volleyball picture; he has regrets about not being more aggressive on the date. At times, Jimmy's fantasies of Martha became completely overwhelming, and therefore started to come back to reality, which, in return, lead to negative feelings of regret, remorse, guilt, shame, and blame. Ted Lavender, which was one of the men under Jimmy Cross's command, was shot in the head. This incident is significant, because it happen due to Cross's day dreaming about Martha: “While on other occasions, he would often slip away into daydreams, just pretending, walking barefoot along, the shoreline, with Martha, carrying nothing” (O'Brien, "Carried" 275). As a result of this, Jimmy Cross ends up burning all the Letters and Pictures from Martha. O'Brian used Martha and Lieutenant Jimmy Cross to show the similar threads of the loneliness from war and the soldiers. Martha is used to represent the love interest left at home due to the war. Which in turn means Martha equals “love”. When Lieutenant Jimmy Cross spends his time fantasizing about Martha he loses focus
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