preview

The Things They Carried Title Analysis

Decent Essays
Significance of the Title The Things They Carried

The title of the book The Things They Carried is significant by being able to tell the soldiers’ story and how they coped with being at war. While the soldiers transport the necessary items to survive, they also carry items that symbolize what is important to them.

In the book, Tim O’Brien mentions that he may have killed a man with a grenade in My Khe. With this, O’Brian describes in detail of how the man looked when he went to look at the body. He gets haunted by the gruesome image of the dead man. O’Brian starts to imagine what the dead man’s career and life had been like. When taking the dead man’s possessions, he picks up and takes a picture of a girl in front of a motorcycle. “Even
…show more content…
Dobbins explains that they are a good luck charm for him. He survives tripping over a landmine and a firefight. In Vietnam, the people are very superstitious in their culture. “More than anything, though, the stockings were a talisman for him. They kept him safe. They gave him access to a spiritual world, where things were soft and intimate…(118).” Dobbin’s girlfriend later breaks up with him, but he refuses to remove the pantyhose, claiming they still had magic still in them. The panyhose symbolize good luck and hope to survive the war.

Lieutenant Jimmy Cross is a character that is in the beginning of the book. What he carries are letter from Martha, who Cross one day hopes she will love him. He fantasizes about life with her after the war and what she was doing when she wrote the letters. “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 (9).” Daydreaming about Martha keeps Cross’s mind off the reality of the war around him. The pictures Cross carries symbolize hope and love for Martha.

The items that the soldiers carry are significant to the title The Things They Carried, because the things they carried tell the story of what is important to them. All the soldiers carry the necessities, but they also carry items that have
Get Access