But he was not there. He was buried with Martha under the white sand at the Jersey Shore. They were pressed together… yet he could not bring himself to worry about matters of security.”(Things they Carried Novel) Lieutenant Cross should have been focusing on his duties and this quote shows that while he was looking into the tunnel he thinks about Martha and him being buried. This demonstrates and shows that he shouldn’t be focusing on Martha while Ted lavender was previously shot, Cross has to be more mindful of where he currently was and he clearly has to understand that if Cross kept daydreaming about Martha then little could we find out that instead of Ted Lavender possibly dieing Cross could’ve possibly died with Ted at that time. In reality many people can be relatable to how Cross was clearly lost in his thoughts. In the Bloom’s guide of pg.22 a quote shows an example of how Jimmy cross was just lost in processes of thinking. “The episode goes on to detail the optimistic detachments of the letter and how, to Jimmy, they become unintentional love letters. Some nights, sitting in his foxhole, holding he pictures in his fingers, he imagines a complete life with Martha, a life antithetical to the experience he was undergoing”
In the novel The Things They Carried Tim O'Brien often brings up Jimmy cross’s love for Martha and how he struggles expressing they way feel feels about her. “Right then he thought he should’ve done something brave”(O’Brian 5) Cross felt much regret because he did not act on his feelings. He did not have the courage to express his love they way he wanted to towards Martha. Jimmy Cross, who had been in love with Martha for quite sometime even though she didn't feel the same way tried to play it off as if he had gotten over her.
Jimmy Cross shows his emotions towards Martha right at the beginning of the novel by sharing to us the following:
For example, Jimmy Cross utilizes Martha as a distraction to escape his responsibilities of leading the troop through the war. “And then suddenly, without willing it, he was thinking about Martha” (11). By slipping into frequent daydreams, readers realize how his desire for Martha prevents him from acting like a true war sergeant. For instance, when given orders to destroy the tunnels in Than Khe, Cross was thinking about Martha’s virginity. Furthermore it is implied, that Jimmy Cross feelings for Martha is unrequited love. As a result, he fantasizes of there being a relationship more than one-sided love. “...a poet and a virgin and uninvolved, and because she did not love him and never would” (16). His fantasies about her not only served as a diversion from the war, but it also prevented him from developing his leadership skills. While Martha’s primary role in Cross’s mind was to act as a diversion from the traumatic experiences of war, she is also characterized as a type of emotional baggage that caused the death of others. “ He had loved Martha more than his men, and as a consequence Lavender was now dead, and this was something he would have to carry like a stone in his stomach for the rest of the war” (16) The thoughts of Martha, was specifical the metaphysical item Cross carried heavily to war to serve as a diversion; however her role hindered him with his duties as a Lieutenant to keep his troop safe and
Lieutenant Cross was in love with a girl back home named Martha. He carried around letters that she wrote to him and pictures that she gave him. His obsession of Martha took his focus away from the war. “He had loved Martha more than his
Cross carried Martha's letters in his backpack and after a long day of marching he would unwrap her letters and imagine her loving him back.”First lieutenant Jimmy cross letters from A girl named Martha a junior at Mount Sebastian College in New Jersey they were not love letters but the lieutenant was hoping so he kept them folded in a plastic bag at the bottom of his backpack”(page1). Martha signs the bottom of the letters “love Martha” but cross knows that means nothing by that he encountered during the war due to the fact that he had the good token
In the story The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien shows the reader a sense of depressing love. O’Brien uses the physical weight carried by the soldiers as a motif for the emotional burdens they must endure while fighting in Vietnam. A love of which is portrayed in the story with a soldier loving a woman more than his fellow soldiers. But this woman does not love him in the same way. O’Brien uses many literary devices throughout the story, and shall be covered in this text. The tone in the text is very prevalent, and O’Brien gives the reader easy access to find and understand them.
He begins by explaining that Jimmy Cross has an obsession, and her name is Martha. “First Lieutenant Jimmy Cross carried letters from a girl named Martha, a junior at Mount Sebastian College in New Jersey. They were not love letters, but Lieutenant Cross was hoping, so he kept them folded in plastic at the bottom of his rucksack” (pg. 1, line 1). Although Jimmy Cross wished they were love letters he would still continue to go crazy about them. ”He would sometimes taste the envelope flaps, knowing her tongue had been there.” (pg.1, line 9) Jimmy Cross could not wait to see Martha as he continued to constantly have her on his mind. While constantly thinking about Martha, Lavender continues to be briefly mentioned then after, Jimmy Cross starts blaming himself for the death of Lavender, but the platoon knows they must move on, as the emotional effect of this story begins to lean towards the physical state of mind on the war, such as the weapons and explosives. This starts to calm down the narrator and his emotional level, however the constant reminder of not seeing Lavender, triggers his emotions and finally continues to bring up more detail about what happened after the death. This brings out the more emotional side of the story and the narrator explains what Lieutenant Cross thinks about the death of Lavender since he could not stop thinking
In life, everyone has obligations. People have responsibilities they have to tend to everyday, but sometimes there are passions of love or revenge that makes one stop thinking of what their true responsibilities are. For soldiers fighting in war, their responsibility is to take care of their men and make sure no one gets hurt. They fight for their country and protect the men who have become their family. Lieutenant Jimmy Cross went against his honor to protect his men. He let his responsibly go, which caused one of the men in his group to die. Lieutenant Jimmy Cross confronts the demands of the love for Martha, which conflicts with his responsibility in the war, which affects him and the story.
In the first chapter in the book, titled The Things They Carried, Jimmy Cross is one of the many examples throughout the novel in where a soldier has a way to escape from the realities of war. Cross, who is a lieutenant in his company, carries two photographs of a girl named Martha whom he truly loves and wishes nothing else but to be with her in the end. Along with the photographs, he carries letters from Martha herself as well as her good-luck pebble in his mouth. Martha’s letters has a huge impact on Cross’s escape on reality because those letters do not mention war at all but for him to stay safe. All of these items comforts Cross and eventually reminisce about the times when he was back home with Martha away from any war. He relives a moment when he was with Martha at the movies, and then remembers that he touched her knee but Martha did not approve and pushed his hands away. Now while he’s in Vietnam, he does nothing but fantasizes taking her to her bed, tying her up, and touching that one knee knee all night long.
Love is a powerful force, and Lieutenant Cross sometimes gets lost in his musings while thinking of Martha. O’Brien writes: “His mind wandered. He had difficulty keeping his attention on the war. On occasion he would yell at his men to spread out the column, to keep their eyes open, but then he would slip away into daydreams, just pretending, walking barefoot along the Jersey shore, with Martha, carrying nothing.” Like any sane person in his situation, Lieutenant Cross wants to escape – to anywhere else but the war. The war brings terrible experiences – fear, death, hunger, and pain beyond imagination. The only way that Lieutenant Cross can endure these things is by escaping to an imaginary life with Martha. Although to her, he is little more than a friend, to Lieutenant Cross, Martha represents innocence, perfection, and a world free from war.
Through the exchange of letters between Lt. Jimmy Cross and the center of his infatuation Martha in “The Things They Carried”, he allowed himself to become more obsessed with the thought of her. The letters simply state the events Martha encounter in her daily life, lines
Jimmy's transformation begins when he decides to burn the pictures and letters of his girlfriend, Martha. To be a leader in war was meaningless to Jimmy Cross compared to the love he had for Martha. Cross' subsequent burning of Martha's letters suggests that he's determined to put such romantic ideas behind him. He repeatedly convinces himself that there will be no more fantasies about Martha. The burning of Martha’s things is symbolically used by O’Brien to signify a turning point in Cross’ development. Cross realizes that Martha's feelings for him were not those of love, for she is an English major, a girl who lives in the world of words. Cross was rationalizing his un-requiting love for Martha to create a “home world” inside his mind so that he could mentally escape from the war when he needed to.
One of the main characters in the short story “The Things They Carried”, written by Tim O’Brien, is a twenty-four year old Lieutenant named Jimmy Cross. Jimmy is the assigned leader of his infantry unit in the Vietnam War, but does not assume his role accordingly. Instead, he’s constantly daydreaming, along with obsessing, over his letters and gifts from Martha. Martha is a student at Mount Sebastian College in New Jersey, Jimmy’s home state. He believes that he is in love with Martha, although she shows no signs of loving him. This obsession is a fantasy that he uses to escape from reality, as well as, take his mind off of the war that surrounds him, in Vietnam. The rest of the men in his squad have items that they carry too, as a way
O’Brien describes personal items that each soldier carry, Jimmy Cross’ items symbolize and provoke his fantasies. Throughout the mission, O'Brien illustrates Jimmy's nonstop thoughts about Martha. His thoughts start from the beginning when he looks at the letters she sent to him. These letters provoke notions about her love for him and her virginity. She signs the letters with "Love, Martha" and Jimmy wants to believe this means that she loves him, but he concludes that she's only signing with love (637). Then Jimmy introduces the two photographs of Martha. One shows her playing at a volleyball game, he focuses on her legs which remind him when he touched her left knee at a movie theater. While this memory plays in his head, he thinks about