Women In Tim O Brien's The Things They Carried

831 Words4 Pages
Women are sporadically mentioned in Tim O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried,” yet their presence is felt strongly throughout the story. In most war tales, and certainly in reality, many of the men on tour have women they yearn to be with and fight to live another day in hopes of seeing that special someone one day in the future. In “The Things They Carried,” many of the material objects carried are essential to survival and mentioned in the short story. Objects ranging from M&Ms to guns, and dog tags to pocket knifes all play a key role in fighting in the Vietnam War. In the soldiers eyes, these are critical material items to ensure survival. While these are important, the arbitrary things the soldiers carry are much more impactful. In three specific cases throughout the tale involving Mark Fossie, Henry Dobbins, and Jimmy…show more content…
The significant role of women is shown throughout the short story and used in the distinct aspects involving hope and strength as well as involving a sense of escape and a reminder that a world exists outside of war. Many soldiers become mentally unstable and worrisome as war continues on and the only way to cope with these hardships is to find something to hold on to that brings them back to reality. In Jimmy Cross’ case, the picture of Martha did the exact opposite. While Cross and Martha did go on one date, it is told by the narrator, Tim O'Brien, that nothing serious was developing between the two. Cross carried a picture of Martha from that single date wherever he went and would oftentimes look at it during, and especially after, battles. As the story continues, Cross becomes increasingly reliant on the physical picture as well as the images produced in his mind. He becomes obsessive over

More about Women In Tim O Brien's The Things They Carried

Open Document