Theme Of Escapism In The Things They Carried

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Escaping Vietnam Escapism, the tendency to seek distraction and relief from unpleasant realities, especially by seeking entertainment or engaging in fantasy (The Oxford Dictionary). Soldiers often need a sense of escapism, some use drugs such as Ted Lavender, “Ted Lavender carried six or seven ounces of premium dope (O’Brien 599), others used memories and love to escape. In Tim O 'Brien 's 1986 “The Things They Carried,” it is noticeable that the seemly unimportant character Martha is more important than you thought, Martha plays a significant role in Lieutenant Jimmy Cross’s life throughout the Vietnam war. Martha serves as a sense of escapism towards Jimmy Cross; he often daydreams about her while at war, “At night, sometimes, Lieutenant…show more content…
The time and energy he invests into daydreaming about his fantasies between him and Martha clearly show that she is important to Jimmy. Of course, daydreaming about Martha while at war will have its consequences. This is something he came to notice as a dereliction of his duty, as he comes to believe that his daydreaming was a factor for the death of one of Ted Lavender. “He felt shame. He hated himself. He had loved Martha more than his men, and as a consequence Lavender was now dead, and this something he would have to carry like a stone in his stomach for the rest of the war.” (O’Brien 606), this quote illustrates the fact that Martha is far greater than his men. In “The Things They Carried”, Martha plays a critical function to the story, Although she doesn 't seem too crucial to the story nor to Jimmy Cross. However, in fact, she represents escapism for Jimmy Cross, she helps him avoid the sorrow experiences he indulges in the Vietnam war; She helps him escape Vietnam mentally. In contrast, I think Tim O’Brien included Martha in the story to emphasize that war is extremely strenuous on the soldiers and that they need a tool to help them escape, in this case Martha is a valuable tool for Lieutenant Jimmy
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