Things They Carried Essay

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Comparing these two stories one can easily see there is a complex relationship between them.

This paper will compare and contrast the differences of these two short and how they interact to create a complex relationship.

In particular the letters and pictures of Martha that Jimmy Cross carries become just such a burden.

These items have proven to be a distraction more than a sustainer or protector of his life.

As the leader of his soldiers, the internal struggle Jimmy Cross faces between his duty of ensuring safety for his troops and the longing for a relationship with Martha, a junior at Mount Sebastian College in New Jersey, express a real struggle someone of his age would face.

The internal battle grows as the story progresses showing not only his loss of drive for his duties but almost a hatred for them.Life since the beginning of time has always been about the survival of the fittest.Two short stories “The Things They Carried” by Tim O'Brien and “War” by Luigi Pirandello show how the survival of the fittest takes precedence over other factors in life.In “The Things They Carried” Tim O’Brien goes into great detail to explain all the luggage individuals carry in their lives.Setting the story in the war in Vietnam only helps to illustrate this principal.Upon many other interactions between the passengers, agreement is made upon the explanations this father has made.The mother of the only son thinks about how she must have been wrong in all her thoughts about letting her son go away to the war.The story climaxes when one of Jimmy Cross’ soldiers is killed while he was daydreaming about Martha.Throughout the story, the description of the weight and details of each item the individual soldiers carry is expressed to create a very powerful understanding of how much of a burden these items are to the soldiers.By the end of the story Cross burned the letters and pictures of Martha and changed his point of view on his duties to move more direct and take his position more seriously ending the story as the soldiers march on to their next destination.This change in the main character of O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried” can also be seen in a different perspective in the story “War” by Luigi Pirandello.


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