The Things They Carried By O´brien: An Analysis

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As the author, O’brien, opens The Things They Carried, he sets forth the novel's primary themes of memory and imagination and the opportunity for mental escape that these powers offer. For example, as Lieutenant. Cross moves through his daily motions of combat duty, he constantly dwells on Martha. As he does so, he does not merely recall memories of her; instead he imagines what might be, such as "romantic camping trips" into the White Mountains in New Hampshire. O'Brien describes these longings of Lieutenant Cross as "pretending." Pretending is a form of storytelling that is, telling stories to oneself (Kaplan). O'Brien underscores the importance of Lieutenant Cross' actions as well as his love for Martha by emphasizing the artifacts such…show more content…
Though the details that O'Brien includes (the weight of a weapon, the weight of a radio, and the weight of a grenade in ounces) seem superfluous, they are meant to be burdensome in readers' imaginations so that they can begin to feel the physical weight of the burdens of war, as well as, eventually, the psychological and emotional burdens (Kaplan). O'Brien's attention to sensory detail also supports this primary objective of evoking a real response in the…show more content…
They drew numbers to decide who would go below ground to search the tunnels. On April 16, Lee Strunk draws the number to go down. The men all feel sympathy for Lee Strunk because. It’s a dangerous job. Death can come just from drawing the chosen number, Death is literally a lottery and there is no way to predict whether or not the tunnels would collapse or explode and kill the chosen soldier. Each mission carried its own weight and fear of dying in horrifying ways. The lottery of death is more crucial than the lottery of drawing numbers that the soldiers set up. Anyone can die, at any time, doing anything, no matter how

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