‘Martha’ was Jimmy Crosses fantasy that held him from living the reality he was in. It was an escape for him. I have many ‘Martha’s’ in my life that I like to live in when I don’t want to face reality. But then reality kicks in and I get the F in my paper and I realize that I too need to “burn Martha’s letters” or in my case stop watching movies and spending too much time with my friends. “Lavender was dead. You couldn’t burn the blame.” ‘Jimmy Cross’ took the blame for what happened to ‘Ted Lavender’ and decided to “take out his maps” and “begin planning the days march”. “No more fantasies, he told himself”, likewise I accept when I fail, and even though sometimes it takes something horrible to happen for me to snap back at reality, I just face it and carry on.
“First Lieutenant Jimmy Cross carried letters from a girl named Martha…”, “Ted lavender, who was scared, carried tranquilizers…”, “ Rat Kiley carried comic books” etc. Just as these men carried things that were important to them as do I carry pictures of my friends that passed away everywhere I go as a memory of them. Not scared that I will forget them but to always keep them close to me wherever I go. Mina Z. wrote, “First Lieutenant Jimmy Cross carried letters from Martha. I too do the same. My best friend and I constantly write letters to each other, and like First Lieutenant Jimmy Cross, I keep it.” Unlike Mina I don’t have those friends to send me any letters or send me anything at all, but I carry something too just as she keeps her and carries her letters.
The men had other things to carry too. In fact they were bigger and heavier in weight. “Most of them were common grunts and carried the standard M-16 gas operated assault rifle. The weapon weighed 7.5 pounds unloaded, 8.2 pounds with its full 20-round magazine”. The soldiers had to carry things that were necessary for their survival and they really didn’t have to carry anything extra because it would only mean more weight and distraction, but they did anyway. I have done a lot of travelling in my life and many times space is always a problem because there is never enough. However, I always manage to carry those pictures with me even if I have to sacrifice some space with things that I may need. I think the soldiers carried those small things with them because those were the things that they felt they had to carry and couldn’t go without. Although things in life that we need to carry might be bigger the real things we focus on are things that we feel we cannot go without whether hey are small or big and those are the things we always end up carrying everywhere we go.
“They marched until…