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Word Count: 353
The Things They Carried by Tim OBrien is about soldiers in the Vietnam War OBrien tells us about the lives of these soldiers by describing the types of items they carried in their packs He tells about the personal items like Jimmys pictures of Martha and Teds dope and even Kiowas grandfathers hunting hatchet Mixed in with the items OBrien puts in internal thoughts or feelings For example OBrien writes Kiowa also carried his grandmothers distrust of the white man He also writes They carried the weight of memory At the end of the story Lieutenant Cross burned the two photographs and the letters that Martha had sent him He does this for two reasons First I believe that he was beginning to come to grips with the fact that Martha didnt feel the same way about him as he did about her As Cross told himself No more fantasies This says that he is beginning to understand either that he has this notion that she doesnt love him or that these thoughts are distracting him I believe that the burning of the pictures is symbolic of the war The war was long As Cross stated about his men Among the men there would be grumbling of course and maybe worse because their days would seem longer and their loads heavier The picture burning symbolized the fact that the war was draining the men of who they were Taking things from them that it no one could put back By Cross burning the picture he was taking a distraction a memory out of his life so that he could concentrate on the war that he was fighting Overall I thought that this story was the best one that we have read so far I thought the author let the reader think a lot about what is going on At the same time he lead you down the path of the story telling you what you
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