Symbols In Tim O Brien's The Things They Carried

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The things that individuals go through in their lives, are experiences that can not be taken away from them by any stretch of the imagination. Certain life lessons take people back, into the glory days, or for others, the dark days. So, what does one carry? Is it stress, or guilt, or is it happiness, and love? For everyday people, living their lives may cause them to carry all types of emotions, or material objects, however, when in war, soldiers may feel the weight of the world sitting on their shoulders, and may carry different objects both literal and figurative, to help them cope with their struggles. Jimmy Cross, Lieutenant of the platoon, has been forced into a deep, and dark hole that he can not escape due to the Vietnam War. This hole, dug purely of guilt and sorrow, and loneliness, and it appears to be an endless pit for First Lieutenant Cross. Martha, the love of his life, is on his mind everyday, all day long, and this clouds his judgement and ability to keep the rest of the platoon safe. In The Things They Carried, author Tim O’Brien uses symbolism to convey how the objects that an individual holds continuously proves that war makes men crazy, and it affects them forever.…show more content…
One time during war, during the first week of April, “Lieutenant Jimmy Cross recieved a good luck charm from Martha. It was a simple pebble” (7). This pebble represents the stone that is holding the men at war down, and keeping them anchored to the world, attempting to humanize the soldiers as individuals. This pebble, carried by Cross everyday in his mouth, distracted him even more. Now that he had this new connection to Martha, he would find himself in a haze, dreaming about her at all points of the day. In the war, the soldiers are susceptible to literal attacks, raids, bombings and so much more, but what may go by overlooked is the emotional bombards that come along with the terrifying experience, that is

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