“The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brian Essay

“One can never ever truly know oneself because each brand-new experience adds to an individual’s identity, no matter how grand or minute the experience.” Identity is the physical and mental homes of and specific including their culture or customs. Everyone has their own identity which allows us to be various. It is the worth and norms that explains ones-self. In the story, “The important things They Brought” by Tim O’Brian, identity plays a big role in each characters life. As readers, we are introduced to a group of young soldiers that are presently in the war.

Each soldier brings several valuable artifacts which represents material within their lives. These artifacts differ from food to drugs and even weapons. Although each solder is involved with an exceptionally challenging circumstance, the products provide a little piece of joy and strive them to advance their journey. In the very first chapter of “The important things They Brought”, the plot focuses on a man by the name of Lieutenant Jimmy Cross, a young soldier who is fixated by a girl called Martha.

Throughout the unique, Cross identity shifts from being fixated to ending up being a leader. Martha has an incredibly powerful impact on Cross. She composes letters which never points out the war or her love for him. Cross takes pride in this and allows himself to become distracted by the ideas of her. An example of this takes place when he “wonder [s] if Martha was a virgin” (2 ). Cross was distracted by the idea of Martha; he did not appear to realize that the more he thought of her, the less conscious he was of his fellow soldiers. Cross is even going to go to an extreme degree in order to feel near her with Martha occurs with the envelope. “He would in some cases taste the envelope flaps, knowing her tongue had existed” (1 ). He ‘d do anything just to feel near her, which was far more than love. Cross is enabling himself to be taken control of by the idea of a female and leave his men behind. The turning point in his identity occurs with the death of Ted Lavender, a fellow soldier.

Lavender makes a brief but essential appearance in the story. His death has a substantial affect on Cross, in which he begins to blame himself. “He pictured Martha’s smooth young face, believing he loved her more than anything, more than his males, and now Ted Lavender was dead due to the fact that he loved her so much and might not stop thinking about her”. Cross feels as if he has full duty of Lavenders death because he enabled himself to be misguided by Martha. Guilt overcame Cross, and he understood that he had let his soldiers down. “He felt embarassment, He heated himself. He had actually enjoyed Martha more than his males, and as an effect Lavender was now dead, and this was something he would bring like a stone in his stomach for the remainder of the war” (6 ). Cross feels disgraceful for not taking responsibility and completing his job. Based upon everything that happened, it permitted him to gain recognition and discover the strength to lead.

As a result of Lavenders death, Cross has a surprise. He got acknowledgment of his misbehaviors and started to turn his life around. In order to carry on Cross needed to eliminate anything that involved Martha, which led to burning all the letters. “Cross bent at the bottom of his trench and burned Martha’s letters. Then he burned the two pictures” (23 ). At one point he valued these products, once he burned them it symbolized acknowledgment and ignoring Martha as a whole. Cross reminded himself that his commitment was not to be enjoyed but to lead. “He would not endure laxity. He would show strength distancing himself” (5 ). Cross is now a leader and no longer sidetracked. He follows the rules and policies which made up for his errors, although it was a little bit late.

His identity shifts when he realizes his errors. Total Lieutenant Jimmy Cross identity shifts from being captivated to ending up being a leader. In the beginning of the novel, he was exceptionally obsessed with Martha and distracted by the thought of her that made him not able to complete his task. It took the death of Ted Lavender for him to recognized his actions. Once he recognized this he changed for the better and took on the role of being a leader. Cross put his males initially and became less distracted by his love life. Although Martha had a substantial effect on the every day life of Cross. Fortunately without her, he would have never ever discovered a valuable lesson about life which is to never forget what’s truly essential.

Functions Mentioned
O’Brian, Tim. The Things They Carried. New York; NY: Houghton Mifflin, 1990. Print.

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