The Things They Carried Essay
“The Things They Carried “simply emphasize that what the person may carry depends on the personality of the person. May it be for his necessity or passion he may carry the weight voluntarily or mandatory. Literally, the things the soldiers carried are, may be tangible or intangible. Tangible things such as P- 38 can openers, pocket knives,heat tabs, dog tags, mosquito repellent,wrist watches, chewing gum, candy,cigarettes,salt tablets, packets of Kool Aid,lighters,matches, sewing kits,Military payment certificates, C rations and two or three canteens of water.
Individual has its own necessity such as Dave Jensen, who practiced field hygiene, carried a toothbrush,dental floss,and several hotel-size bars of soap. Ted Lavender, who was scared, carried tranquilizers and six or seven ounces of dope which for him is necessity. Kiowa, a devout baptist, carried an illustrated New Testament that had been presented to him by his father, who taught Sunday school in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. By necessity and because it was SOP, they all carried steel helmets that weighed five pounds including the liner aid camouflage cover.
Because the land was mined and booby-trapped, it was SOP for each man to carry a steel -centered, nylon-covered flak jacket, which weighed 6. 7 pounds. Because thenights were cold, and the monsoons were wet, each carried a green plastic pocho that could be used as a raincoat or groundsheet or makeshift tent. These are the things they carried for their necessities,for their own survival. As a soldier, they carried arms and ammunitions for survival and call of duty.
Almost everyone carried photographs too. As they call it, to carry it is to “hump” it. They carried partly a function of rank and partly of field specialty. As First lieutenant and platoon leader, Jimmy Cross carried a compass, maps, code books, binoculars, and a . 45-caliber pistol that weighed 2. 9 pounds fully loaded. He also carried the responsibility for the lives of his men. Mitchell Sanders, a radio and telephone operator, carried the PRC-25 radio.
Rat Kiley, a medic, carried a canvass satchel filled with morphine,plasma,malaria tablets,surgical tape and all the things a medic must carry. Henry Dobbins, a machine gunner, carried the M- 60. What they carried varied by mission. When a mission’s location is in the mountains,they carried mosquito netting, machetes, canvass tarps and extra bug juice. If the mission is hazardous, they carried almost everything they could. As a soldier assigned to war, they have to leave all their personal affair behind because of the call of duty.
First Lieutenant Jimmy Cross was intimidated by his love that was not reciprocated by Martha which cause his negligence to his job and killed Ted Lavender on their quest against the veitnamese colony. Jimmy Cross simply concluded everything that could satisfy his desire for his feelings for martha thus imagining things that was not really true. It causes guilt on his part because of Ted lavender’s death. Guilt is an additional thing to carry.
Ted Lavender As a soldier assigned to war, they have to leave all their personal affair behind because of the call of duty. First Lieutenant Jimmy Cross was intimidated by his love that was not reciprocated by Martha which cause his negligence to his job and killed Ted Lavender on their quest against the veitnamese colony. Jimmy Cross simply concluded everything that could satisfy his desire for his feelings for martha thus imagining things that was not really true. , who was scared, did not have the courage to do his task correctly.
Fear is another thing to carry. Kiowa also carried his grandmother’s distrust for white man. Jimmy Cross rank as a lieutenant, is a big responsibility to handle during the war, to keep the rank in file and all men in right position. He have to gain respect from his comrade thus another thing to carry. These are the intangible things carried by the men in war. “The Things they carried” is just a simple illustration of war with a vivid description of the heavy ammunitions they carry and the task they have to comply for their country.
O’brien put emphasis on Jimmy Cross unreciprocated love for Martha, how he yearns for Martha and the longing to be with her but because of his responsibility it is just a mere dream. Jimmy Cross carried these feelings and withdrawn from his task once of not concentrating during the battle. But in the end, after Ted Lavender’s death, he was able to realize that everything is unreal regarding Martha. And thus came to the realization that he is purely a soldier, who needs compliance of his task for his subordinates and to gain trust and confidence all by itself.