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Word Count: 386
The Things They Carried by Tim OBrien contains many references to possessions of character Many things Lt Cross carries were carried by all including military equipment stationery photographs diseases food the land of Vietnam itself their lives and even more OBrien highlights these along with special things that Lt Jimmy Cross carries He thus reveals something of what Cross values Belongings reflect his character and thoughts Grief terror love longing--these were intangibles but the intangibles had their own mass and specific gravity they had tangible weight Lt Jimmy Cross carries letters and a pebble from Martha a girl whom he cares about greatly but she does not share the same emotions for him He carries these things to remind him of her of his feelings for her At the end of every day he ritually unwraps them and reads them These letters are light in weight only ten ounces but prove to be a heavy burden Above all he carries the responsibility for the lives of his men He is dreaming when Lavender is shot and so he blames himself for it Lavenders death was something which He would have to carry like a stone in his stomach for the rest of the war He does not always pay attention to what is most important his men Lt Jimmy Cross burns all of Marthas letters at the end of the story trying to forget her to erase the memory Still he carries her in his mind along with the haunting memory that she was not involved Martha is just a part of the technicalities now he bids her farewell in his mind and decides to rid himself of the pebble He is past his days of dreaming and hoping Everything that Lt Cross carries has more physical weight than those letters but none were more of a burden to him Everything that Jimmy Cross carries bears more physical
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