Jimmy in The Important Things They Carried
In Tim O’brien’s short story “The Things They Brought,” the main lead character, Lieutenant Jimmy Cross, deals with his inner battles and burdens, while being covered in the madness of the Vietnam War. Jimmy struggles to remain concentrated on his truth and rather chooses to fantasize about being back in America with his love Martha. However, this absence of attention to the war at hand causes the death of among his males, Ted Lavender. Lavender’s death is an essential occasion for Jimmy, as it symbolizes Jimmy’s carelessness to the men he is expected to lead and protect. Eventually, Lavender’s death is the stimulate that teaches Jimmy his inner concerns are no more important than anyone else’s and he requires to let go of Martha, so he can tend to his obligations as a Lieutenant.
As a Lieutenant in the Vietnam War, Jimmy brings with him many concerns and obligations. Nevertheless, he is not the only one in this war as all of his guys carried some sort of concern being it inside or outside. “They brought all the emotional baggage of guys who may pass away” (O’Brien 503). This describes that inside Jimmy and his guys felt the scaries of war, where every situation could lead to the end. Together with emotional concerns on the inside, Jimmy and his guys carried heavy “needs” on the exterior. These “necessities” varied from weapons, food, and devices. It is fascinating how O’Brien develops a connection in between the inner burdens and the external burdens. The inner burdens are small in size, however the tolls they take on a guy’s mind are far greater than the weight of the heavy devices they bring. O’Brien shows this point with the letters from Martha that Jimmy brings. Martha’s letters weigh just 10 ounces however the effect that have on Jimmy is far greater than something such as his handgun that weighed 2.9 pounds. Lavender’s death likewise could be an inner problem that weighed greatly on Jimmy’s mind. “While Kiowa explained how Lavender died, Lieutenant Cross found himself trembling” (501 ). Jimmy clearly feels he contributed in Lavender’s death, he realizes he put his own ideas ahead of his guys. He sees he owes it to them to serve them as they serve him.
Martha is the most significant concern Jimmy brings. She represents everything that Jimmy wants, however can not have due to his tasks for serving his nation. In essence, they live in separate worlds and Jimmy wants to frantically be a part of her world. He keeps letters and photographs of Martha and ponders whether she enjoys him and is still a virgin. He is constantly daydreaming of Martha frantically, which reveals Jimmy is not fully into the objectives at hand. “And then all of a sudden, without willing it, he was thinking of Martha” (498 ). This reveals Jimmy can not manage his thoughts of Martha; she is constantly in his mind and when it comes to war that is a bad thing. Due to his Lieutenant’s negligence, Ted Lavender is shot and killed like a flash of lightning. Lavender’s death also symbolizes the death of Martha in Jimmy’s mind. “She came from another world, which was not quite real.he recognized she did not love him and never would” (501 ). Jimmy comprehends that Martha can not exist in his vicious world and in order for him and his guys to survive this war he needs to let her go. Jimmy then burns the letters and photographs of Martha, which reveal he has actually learned from his mistakes and will give his males the leader they are worthy of.
The utmost essential event of the story is Lavender’s death and how it impacts Jimmy for the better. Lavender’s death causes Jimmy to question where his concerns are. “He felt embarassment. He hated himself. He had enjoyed Martha more than his men, and as a repercussion Lavender was now dead” (501 ). Jimmy comprehends that he has actually not held his guys in high regard like he should; he sees that he has actually been neglecting his duties of leading and safeguarding his soldiers. He comes to see that the concerns he carries on the within ought to not be impacting his males. With the death of Lavender, Jimmy sees the significance of his obligations; he needs to be a genuine leader to his males. He comprehends that war is “a location where males died due to the fact that of negligence and gross stupidity” (505 ). Knowing from his mistakes, Jimmy comprehends that performing his duties to the very best of his abilities will considerably benefit him and his guys. Although he can do absolutely nothing for Lavender, he can honor him by using the lessons his death taught him.
In Tim O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried,” he highlights the importance of conquering our inner demons and learning from our mistakes through Lieutenant Jimmy Cross. Jimmy carries numerous inner burdens that impact not only him, however the males he is supposed to be leading as well. He permits his greatest concern, Martha to impact him almost all the time. With his mind in other places, he overlooks the safety and environments of his men which results in the death of Ted Lavender. Lavender’s death leads Jimmy to question whether he remains in the ideal state of mind. Feeling guilty, he sees that he can not allow Martha to hamper his duties. Dominating his inner self, Jimmy pledges to not allow another death like Lavender’s to happen once again. Everybody has some sort of inner concerns and O’Brien knows this. No one is best, which leads to making errors. The important thing is what our mistakes can teach us and help us much better ourselves for not just the sake of others, however for ourselves as well.