Symbolism In The Things They Carried

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Pages: 3

War Scar

Wars start at anytime when people want to start, but wars do not stop as people wish to stop. The short story, “The Things They Carried” by William Timothy O’Brien, sufficiently depicts some veterans’ expectation for peace and their disappointment after the Vietnam War. The protagonist, Lieutenant Jimmy Cross and his men challenged their moral limited to survive in the war. However, they have to face more difficult situation to enter the peaceful life, even though a peaceful life is a common motivation to wait war’s ending. Along with veterans’ hopefulness and hopelessness, Tim O’Brien uses symbolism to demonstrate that there will be a day, which becomes peace; however, the people who suffered the wars cannot back the peace again.
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In the first chapter, the first girl named Martha appears, and she as a friend wrote some letters to Lieutenant Jimmy Cross. “They were not love letters, but Lieutenant Cross was hoping, so he kept them folded in plastic at the bottom of his rucksack.” (Tim, 10) Soldiers only take the most important thing in their rucksacks everyday. Based on this description to this relationship, it clearly see that how important these letters from his unrequited girl are. Although he knew that the letters were not love letters, he hoped or pretended that it was. Tim set this scenery to strongly illustrate a real behavior of solider that they extremely expect there is a person still misses them in another side of the world. However, after a long time of grumbling, among the men, included Lieutenant Jimmy Cross, are not able to be hopeful all the time. “...But Lieutenant Jimmy Cross reminded himself that his obligation was not to be loved but to lead. He would dispense with love; it was not now a factor.” (Tim, 26) The change of attitude to love indirectly reflects how dangerous wars are because it pushes the men into the desperation. The war mostly always deprives all of hope from people until people have nothing