The Role of Women in "The Things They Carried" Essay

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"All that crap about how if we had a pussy for president there wouldn't be no more wars. Pure garbage. You got to get rid of that sexist attitude." The role of women in the book The Things They Carried is an important one. These men have various views and feeling about the women they love, the women they hate, and the women that they may not know and can only dream of. While the text given to the ideas of women is small is stature, it is quite significant in meaning. There are three main women that enter and disrupt the lives of the Alpha company; Mary-Ann, Martha, and Henry Dobbin's girlfriend, who remains unnamed. The men carry letters, rocks, and even pantyhose to remind them of the women back home, and that which they hope to…show more content…
"Then at full dark he would return to his hole and watch the night and wonder is Martha was a virgin." He recognizes the ideas that she may not be a virgin, and even acknowledges that there are other men in her life. Jimmy knows that Martha has many boyfriends, and when he receives a picture from her in the mail, wonders who the photographer was. He treasures the picture and takes it everywhere with him, and yet the small shadow in the picture of the man taking it seems to be his focal point. He wants to focus purely on his unrequited love for Martha, but he can't. He seems to force himself to understand that she does not actually love him. She will never be his, and he knows that somewhere inside him, but continues to imagine that the love that she signs at the end of her letters is really a romantic love. Mary-Anne was a completely different story all together. "The way Rat told it, she came in by helicopter along with the daily resupply shipment out of Chi Lai. A tall big-boned blonde." She came from the sky like it was no big deal, to see her boyfriend Fossie. A girl coming into a war among the rations and medicine. She was barely a woman, only 17, and when she came to join them at the medical camp she was described as, "had long white legs and blue eyes and a complexion like strawberry ice cream. Very friendly too." It was the "very friendly" part that should have been the problem. It was a
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