araby and the things they carried Essay

848 Words Sep 29th, 2013 4 Pages
Head in the Clouds
The main characters in “Araby” by James Joyce and “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien are both at war with fantasy and reality. Both of these characters are ones motivated by their infatuation with woman they hardly know but believe that they love them. Both these stories tell us that their fantasizing and objectification of these women are used to cover up their true feelings. In return this offers the main characters an escape from reality.
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
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With religion being a very prominent factor in the lives of the characters in this story, the narrator neglects to realize that this factor will make it nearly impossible for them to be together. With the inability to realize this, mixed with his teenage hormones, this causes him to be engulfed by his objectification of Manegen’s sister. “My body was like a harp and her words and gestures were like fingers running along the wires” (Joyce, 217). He allows her to control him so heavily; simply by the way she moves or speaks, he doesn’t allow himself to live his own life as the person he truly is. By not allowing himself to see anything else past this girl he is idealizing, he shuts himself off from the rest of the things in his life, the more important things, such as work and school.
We know that the narrator doesn’t come from very much money, which means for him to take what little money he is given and plan to spend it on this girl, he is truly obsessed. A child in his right mind would save the money he is given, to get the things he needs or even wants for himself. His infatuation with her makes him feel as though he has to do anything he could to please her, even giving her all he had. Through an epiphany at the end he realizes that he was romanticizing his relationship with Manegen’s sister far too much. He was willing to give up the little money he has in order to please a girl he hardly knows in order to simply entertain a fantasy. When the
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