The Things They Carried

“Often, they carried each other, the wounded or weak.” (14)
“He felt shame. He hated himself. He had loved Martha more than his men, and as a consequence Lavender was now dead, and this was something he would have to carry like a stone in his stomach for the rest of the war” (16)
“They carried the secret of cowardice barely restrained, the instinct to run or freeze or hide, and in many respects this was the heaviest burden of all, for it could never be put down…they carried their reputations. They carried the soldier’s greatest fear, which was the fear of blushing.” (21)
The men formed a tight bond; the only thing they had, other than their material objects and memories, were each other. Even if they did not like each other, they stood by one another. Like in a family, you don’t have to like on another, but you do have to love each other.
A lieutenant, Jimmy Cross carried the weight of his men. Although they all carried their own baggage, Cross held them emotionally. Anything that could happen, he took it upon himself. The death of Lavender gave him reasoning to try to get over Martha. He knew she would never return his love, yet it is not easy for one to get over someone they love when they hold nothing against them. Once Cross had something to blame Martha for, it became easier for him. Like the pebble he carried in his mouth given to him by Martha for good luck, he now holds a pebble in his stomach; also given to him because of Martha, this stone does not resemble luck like the last one did, but sorrow and a heaviness that will always be there.
*In war, the men could not show any sign of fear. Although they all carried the same emotion of cowardice in their hearts, so show this was even more cowardice than to hide it. They could show sorrow, happiness, almost any other emotion;* however they could not express fear. Soldiers are supposed to be strong people, carrying the nation’s peace in their hands, and the men in the novel tried their...