Review Of ' The Things They Carried '

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THE THINGS THEY CARRIED ESSAY: Role of Women in the Novel The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien contains many themes involving the impact of war, which are very prevalent in the lives of the soldiers and Tim himself; their very being in the war influences their thoughts and actions. Because of the nature of the war, these stories revolve around men and how their direct contact with the war changes their lives. While it is easy for women to be omitted from a story about war, especially the Vietnam War, O’Brien still incorporates them into his. In the novel The Things They Carried, there are very few women represented in both passing and the direct action; however, these women are used to allow the reader to further understand major messages about war: hope and motivation to persevere, the change that people undergo, and the general pointlessness of it.
Several women characters are not directly in the action of the novel; however, their purpose is to give the soldiers hope, which is evident through their mementos and keepsakes. O’Brien opens up the novel with an explanation of how much Martha means to Jimmy Cross by writing, “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 Jimmy Cross was hoping, so he kept them folded in plastic at the bottom of his rucksack” (O’Brien 2). Letters, more specifically Martha’s, are not only mentioned in this
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