“The Things They Carried” By Tim O`Brien

The beauty of this story remains in its subtlety and depth. The most intriguing questions of all as regards this piece is how Martha’s letters and images come to play in the story. The letters and pictures may signify hope and even incorrect hope, anguish, distraction, confusion, love or others.

The response depends upon whether one views the story as about war, love, some days in the life of Jimmy Cross or other possible styles around which the story may revolve. Based on the way the story was informed, these theories and interpretations are all possible.

What captured my attention in specific, in relation to Martha’s letters and photos, are the enumeration of the reasons and functions people in the story bring the important things they do. All of these purposes focus on the truth that “they carry things by need” (p. 714). Even those which they carry by superstitious notion (p. 717) might be considered to have been carried as a requirement due to the fact that these things assist them obtain guts and belief, if not in their success, in their survival. Nevertheless, among all the things he brought, Jimmy Cross carries Martha’s love letters.

Is this truly needed? This may not even certify as superstitious notion because there does not appear any belief on his part that the letters will offer him some defense from the war. At this point, the author efficiently created a disparity that is too subtle to be discovered, but is too crucial that the story revolves around it. The story is likewise filled with enumerations of the important things they carried. However, it is intriguing that, while it constitutes the bulk of the story, this enumeration is really not the story itself.

It is included merely to show the disparity mentioned and thus offer additional emphasis to the value of Martha’s letters for Jimmy and for the story. I likewise admire the author for being able to tell the story and communicate the feelings of the characters through descriptions of what are taking place instead of through direct declarations of the feelings felt, thus enabling the readers flexibility to translate and imagine. An example of this is the author’s description of Martha during her volley ball mishap (p. 715) and the description of the important things carried by various people in the story.

1. What do you think is the author’s function in stating more than as soon as in the story that Martha signed her letters and images with Love, however that he understood better that this is simply a traditional method of signing a letter and does not truly indicate anything? Is this to reveal that Martha does not love Jimmy? Is it to develop doubt regarding whether Martha does not really like Jimmy? What other purposes can there be? 2. This story enumerates lots of material things males carry at war. Nevertheless, in one part of the story (p. 724), the author wrote the sentence” [t] he things males brought inside.

What does the author mean by this? What are the things men carried within? Relate this to the statement ate completion of the story that “their days would seem longer and their loads much heavier” (p. 725). 3. React on this statement.” [H] is responsibility was not to be liked but to lead” (p. 725). Is it possible to dispense with love completely? Can a person in a war lead and be enjoyed at the very same time? Exists space for love when there is war? Work Cited O’Brien, Tim. “The Things They Carried (1986 ).” Worlds of Fiction. Ed. Rubinstein and Larson. Macmillan Coll Div, 1993. 713-725.