The Things They Carried Mary Ann Character Analysis

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In The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien women play a supporting role, not seen, but undoubtedly in the mind of men. An important remark about the role of women is that they are perceived as releases, escapes, or sex objects. Although there are many different roles women had in The Things They Carried, they represented the life the soldiers were missing by being soldiers, Mary Ann represented women who would never understand what soldiers coming home go through as they continue their lives in the U.S. When Mary Ann comes to Vietnam to reunite with her former boyfriend, Fossie, the soldiers instantly view her as a clueless, innocent girl arriving in culottes, a pink sweater, clean done-up hair, and makeup; she was a reminder of what the girls…show more content…
A good amount of the soldiers going into war have a significant other back home, it is shown through the character Lieutenant Cross. Although Cross never had any relations with Martha, he loved her, yet she doesn’t love him, this was a distraction to him. "As hard as he tries to concentrate on Strunk and the tunnel, Cross can think only of Martha, imagining the two of them together "under the white sand at the Jersey shore.’’ Strunk finally emerges, ‘‘filthy but alive,’’ but ‘‘right then Ted Lavender is shot in the head on his way back from peeing.’’ (12) As a result of him fantasizing, Lieutenant Cross feels the responsibility for the death of Ted Lavender. Because of this, he burns the pictures and letters Martha sent him. Martha is portrayed as a negative character through the events Jimmy Cross has had, from the death of Ted Lavender to her not giving affection towards Jimmy Cross; although not said, Martha seemed to be the cause to all his problems. “… he [Jimmy Cross] finally said. “I love her.’” (29) After the war Jimmy Cross is still in love with a love that never existed. Martha went on with her life while Jimmy Cross didn’t make and advances due to Martha being his

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