The Things They Carried Essay

Submitted By rguz
Words: 1453
Pages: 6

Life Long Baggage Claim Imagine going to war with others you do not know very well and being away from your family not knowing everything going on at home. Not even knowing it you’re going to carry those fears, feelings, thoughts, and instances that have happened in your life before or what could happen. Emotional baggage is a big part of life, and in the story The Things They Carried by Time O’Brien really portrays that both physically and emotionally and really connects to you in the real life. Throughout this story it you learn about the baggage you carry and how some can be seen and some are chosen by you and some are ones you just have and some are given.
The Things They Carried is a story about soldiers that are stationed at war outside of the states. Many of these men began to become brothers in the sense of being together for so long and accomplishing things together at the same time. Them going through so much together have given them that brotherly bond and learn very much about each other. The main character in the story is a soldier by the name of Lieutenant Jimmy Cross who had a young lady named Martha back home that he would write letters to. These two people were not a couple and Lieutenant Cross wasn’t even sure if they were anything besides friends, he dreamed and imagined days on days that they were though. Lt. Cross carried letters between the two, photographs of Martha, and all of his necessary war equipment such as weapons and some food. Lieutenant Cross had the rest of his team to carry as well such as Ted Lavender who was the one who lived in fear day to day, and carried tranquilizers. Lavender also carried dope until he was shot the first time. The dope for Lavender was what the brothers saw as a necessity for him to help calm him down. A few other soldiers that were with Lt. Cross were Henry Dobbins; he carried his beloved canned peaches with pound cake, Dave Jensen; who cared a lot about hygiene and took a toothbrush, floss, soaps from hotels along with him. Also there was the telephone operator, Mitchell Sanders, which carried condoms, Bowker who carried a diary, Rat Kiley that brought along comic books and finally Kiowa who was a Baptist carried a New Testament and his grandmother’s thoughts toward the white men. All of the men carried steel helmets, fatigue jackets and trousers, jungle boots with Dr. Scholls powder. These men had gone through a lot and during their time there they experienced tragedies and devastating scenes that from then on they would carry with them. In the beginning weeks of April these brothers had experienced a sad loss of Ted Lavender, who was shot when he had gone to go pee while they were stationed by a mine they were inspecting. After this had happened Lt. Cross finally came to his senses and realizing he was focusing too much on what he didn’t know was true or not what was something he just hoped for and not enough attention to what had really mattered like his brothers. After this tragedy most of these men were going to be carrying this emotional baggage of what had happened to their brother Ted Lavender. Everything described earlier were the things they carried physically but now on the emotional side could be a bit harder to see from just reading the story. One person’s emotional baggage you can see is Lt. Cross, he carries from the beginning that hope of him and Martha and if they were anything he wanted to have what they had before he left when he came back. And then after losing Ted he had the baggage of thinking it was his fault that he died because he wasn’t being the best Lt. he could’ve been because he wasn’t focused. A few other characters that carried emotional baggage from the beginning were Lavender himself, he carried that fear of dying and the fears of what could happen to him. Him being the one who carried that fear so much to the point everyone knew and could see it I think is what made it so hard for him. Kiowa was a man of the