A character analysis of the things they carried

Cross is preoccupied by thoughts of Martha, a young woman he dated before he joined the Army. He thinks about letters she wrote him; he thinks about whether or not she is a virgin; he thinks about how much he loves her and wants her to love him. Her letters do not indicate that she feels the same way.

A character analysis of the things they carried

He is a young foot soldier in the Vietnam War, a member of Alpha Company. He is also the fictional persona of O'Brien the writer, and similarly is a middle-aged writer with a Midwestern, middle-class background that informs his values.

Readers follow "O'Brien" around Vietnam, experiencing his fear, guilt, curiosity, and blood lust. For all of the first hand accounts and stories, "O'Brien" is the readers' source, and he demonstrates the danger of believing that something is either fact or fiction, often by evoking emotions in the reader.

Kiowa Kiowa symbolizes the wastefulness of war. He is O'Brien's closest friend in Vietnam and is killed in battle when he drowns in a field during a flood. When "O'Brien" returns to Vietnam, he visits the site of Kiowa's death and leaves his moccasins as a memorial to his friend.

A character analysis of the things they carried

Curt Lemon Lemon represents an outdated model of masculine heroism. He is brave and fearless to a fault, known in Alpha Company for pulling crazy stunts just for the attention and the thrill of danger.

A character analysis of the things they carried

He even makes a dentist pull a healthy tooth from his mouth to prove to everyone that he is not afraid of dentists. Eventually stepping on a booby trap kills him.

The Things They Carried Characters and Analysis - A Research Guide

Jimmy Cross The leader of Alpha Company, Cross personifies mental escapism, the ability to project one's mind somewhere else to escape from an undesirable situation. Instead of concentrating on the war, Cross occupies his mind with memories of Martha, his old sweetheart. Rather than helping to search for Kiowa's body, Cross spends time thinking about the letter he must write to Kiowa's father.

Cross meets up with O'Brien after the war, and he still carries feelings of unrequited love for Martha. Whether in the middle of the war or 20 years later, Cross focuses on life outside of war, but also carries a heavy, self-imposed burden of guilt because of it. He feels intense culpability for Kiowa's death and cannot adjust to civilian life in his small hometown after the war.

He wants O'Brien to write a story about a guy like him who cannot talk about his war-related trauma. Bowker eventually commits suicide. He is known for spinning yarns and making grotesque exaggerations.

The Things They Carried It was the height of the Cold War.

Rat helps O'Brien when he is shot for the first time. Rat's imagination eventually claims his sanity, as he begins to hallucinate in-country. He shoots himself, not to kill, but to be excused from war because of injury.

Azar A foot soldier in Alpha Company, Azar is the wild man who enjoys war. He makes jokes about death, even the death of Kiowa. He mocks the movements of a traumatized Vietnamese girl dancing for fun and helps O'Brien play a cruel prank on Jorgenson.

Azar's real allegiance is to war itself, not to his friends or his cause. Henry Dobbins Dobbins is a foot soldier in Alpha Company who symbolizes "America itself, big and strong…slow of foot but always plodding along.

He has a keen sense of morality and treats everyone, enemies and friends, with respect. Mitchell Sanders The radio officer of Alpha Company, Sanders is the voice of soldierly experience and practical wisdom.

Deconstructed Character Archetype - TV Tropes

He tells stories about how other soldiers react to Vietnam, and he vehemently blames Lt.A relatively minor character; feels guilty for injuring Lee Strunk in a fight over a knife, so he breaks his own nose (because he is paranoid that Strunk will get back at him); made a pact with Strunk to have one kill the other in the case of a really bad injury- is relieved .

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Martha Character Timeline in The Things They Carried The timeline below shows where the character Martha appears in The Things They Carried. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.

The character of Martha in The Things They Carried from LitCharts | The creators of SparkNotes