Main Characters In Tim O Brien's The Things They Carried

973 Words4 Pages
People can carry many things with them as they go through life. Individuals can carry tools to do their jobs, knowledge to aid in a successful outcome of a task, or even guilt of something that happened on their watch. These are some of the struggles that Tim O’Brien’s the main character has to deal with, in the story “The Things They Carried” because the character is the leader of a military unit. O’Brien’s main character is plagued throughout the story by a fantasy romance that constantly distracts the character First Lieutenant Jimmy Cross and causes a terrible tragedy. Like the main character of O’Brien’s story, I to had a distraction in the place in which I was employed, and it also caused a terrible tragedy as well. Both O’Brien’s character…show more content…
Each of us had very bad things happen during our time of being in charge. O’Brien’s leader learns a valuable lesson in the jungles of Vietnam. O’Brien’s character Lieutenant Cross is in command of a group of men in the middle of the Vietnam war. While Lieutenant Cross and his men are on a normal patrol in the “Than Khe area” (O’Brien1521) they are ordered to destroy some enemy vietnamese tunnels. O’Brien states Lieutenant Cross, “He carried … the responsibility for the lives of his men” (O’Brien 1519). O’Brien’s Lieutenant Cross is enjoying the lovely vision of a girl he left behind. O’Brien writes Lieutenant Cross, “he loved her so much and could not stop thinking about her” (O’Brien 1520). Because O’Brien’s leader is distracted by the images of the girl he left behind, it will ultimately lead to Lieutenant Cross’s misfortune. I had a similar role in my department that I worked in; one of my main responsibilities was to protect my co-workers from injury. My department was located in the center of a tool making plant and was incredibly hot, because it had very large furnaces. Although the dangers in my department were not as life changing as that of O’Brien’s leader they still could be serious and I was about to learn just how serious. On the day of my misfortune, I was helping a co-worker fix one of the furnaces in the department. My distraction was too much trust in my…show more content…
Within a relatively short period of time things would go wrong very rapidly for both of us. In the very first paragraph of O’Brien’s story, we are given excellent information about a girl that will be the source of distraction for O’Brien’s character Lieutenant Cross. O’Brien states that Lieutenant Cross, “carried letters from a girl named Martha” (O’Brien 1516). Ultimately O’Brien’s Lieutenant Cross becomes so distracted by these letters and the false love created in his mind, a soldier dies. The distraction that would lead to my horrible day came from working with this co-worker for almost ten years, and the fact he was kind of a fatherly figure. Because of this type of working relationship, I trusted his judgement almost without question. The trust I had in my co-worker’s judgement would ultimately cloud my judgment, and he would pay the price and get badly
Open Document