Released From The Grip Of What He Carried: Freedom Birds
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Released From the Grip of What He Carried: Freedom Birds'They dreamed of freedom birds. At night, on guard, staring into the dark, they were carried away by jumbo jets. They felt the rush of takeoff. Gone! They yelled. (286). 'Freedom bird' an appropriate term for the jumbo jets thattake the soldiers from their tour because it gives them the freedom from whathas been holding them back. Throughout the story, First Lieutenant Jimmy Crosshas his mind everywhere but on his infantry he is supposed to be leading on thetour.
The story shows how even the smallest memory, letter, or picture can drawanyone from reality. It shows several men's struggle to overcome theirpredisposed conscience and deal with reality. It has become one of the most common occurrences in any war. Grandfathers, uncles, and even brothers have told how they would recall as theywere fighting, they themselves carried the unnecessary on a tour. The seeminglyinnocent picture, the numerous letters sent, and even thoughts of what it waslike to be home, all of a loved one is now shown to have an impact. As seenwith Jimmy Cross, some men even went to a profound obsession. As mentionedearly in the work, Jimmy Cross carries letters and two pictures from a friendnamed Martha
The story tells how 'he would dig his foxhole, wash his handsunder a canteen, unwrap the letters and photos, hold them with the tips of hisfingers, and spend the last hour of light pretending, he would imagine romanticcamping trips..' (275). One picture is a black and white picture of Marthastanding against a brick wall. It is told how Martha has an apparent neutrallook to her, and Cross can't help but notice the shadow of the person taking thepicture. Cross knows she has boyfriends, knows she is closer to men other thanhimself. The other picture that Cross has is one of Martha clipped from ayearbook.
It is a shot of Martha playing volleyball for her school. In thepicture, Martha is 'bent horizontal to the floor, reaching, the palms of herhands in sharp focus..the expression on her face taut and competitive' (276). Theusual glance at a picture isn't enough for this man. It becomes an obsessionfor him to do this every night, sometimes he 'licks the envelopes knowing thather tongue touched the paper' (275).O'Brien gives the impression that Cross has the deepest thoughts for Marthathroughout the story. He mentions on numerous occasions that Cross isthinking about her, and imagining being with her.
Cross remembers back to whenhe touched her knee in a theater, but pulling it away when he felt uncomfortablewhen Martha gives m a certain look. When Cross receives the stone that Marthapicked up on the Jersey shore, he daydreams that he 'wondered how the Jerseyshore line was when Martha saw the pebble and bent down to pick it up..imaginingher bare feet' (278). In the letter that accompanied the pebble, Marthamentions that she picked up the pebble from where the water and the land meetwhere it has a 'separate but together quality' (278). Cross is not the only man who carries strange objects to deal with thewar and the absence of home. One guy in the infantry carries not only hisnormal gear and necessities is Ted Lavender. He carries 'six or seven ounces ofpremium dope..and tranquilizers' (276).
The story depicts Lavender as the typeof person who is always taking some form of drug in order to deal with the war. Lavender's fate is met when he 'pops off a tranquilizer and goes off to pee'then he 'was shot in the head on the way back of the head on his way back frompeeing' (280). Kiowa, another member of the infantry, carries not only hatchetwith which he cuts off a thumb of an enemy. Harry Dobbins carried hisgirlfriend's panties around his neck, and Dave Jansen carried ear plugs. Throughout the story, Cross' thoughts switch back and forth between real life, daydreams, and thoughts of Martha. The story starts out telling of who Marthais, how he feels for her, and what he would do for her. Next, the tone moves towhat soldiers carry on tour.
O'Brien tells how much certain items weigh andwhat they are used for. It is as if Cross can't help but to think of thiswoman when he gets bored of the war. Cross even believes that it is his faultfor the death of one of his men. Cross felt that it was because of hisdaydreaming that Ted Lavender died. After Lavender died, Cross began to thinkabout his actions. He realized that throughout the war, he spent his timedreaming of a woman he hardly knew.
How she herself had no special feelingsfor Cross and she was just writing to him because she felt a responsibility to. Although seemingly reaching out to him, she in fact had no deep feeling for him. Lieutenant Jimmy Cross, in the end, realized the mistakes he's made. Hesees that he has unknowingly threatened the lives of the men he is responsiblefor, and has been lead on by Martha. He realizes that he has held on the hismemories of her, and her letters only to have memories of home with him while heis so from form it. He realizes that this notion of having Martha to thinkabout is slowing him down, and he needs to get on with his job. Cross'crouched at the bottom of his foxhole and burned Martha's letters. Then heburned the two photographs' (287).
By burning his material memories of Martha, Cross 'frees' himself of what has holding him down from working to his fullpotential. He has nothing to stop and look at or read, but he does have histhoughts of Martha. 'Briefly in the rain, Lieutenant Cross saw Martha's grayeyes gazing back at him. It was very sad..The things men carried inside..he almostnodded at her, but he didn't' (287). This is the turning point in the story. This is where Cross gets on with his tour. This is where Lieutenant Crossstarted to 'remind himself that his job is to lead' and he will 'dispense of alllove: it was not now a factor' (288).
O'Brien's use of the term 'freedom birds' is appropriate when referringto the jets that take troops away because it carries them away, far away fromwhere they don't want to be. Late in the story, Cross realizes what hisaffixation to Martha has cost him and his men. He want's to rid himself of theburden, but can't. When Cross finally rids himself of the burden, he is readyto march on, he is ready to do his job. Cross 'feels the rush of takeoff. Gone!' (286).
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«They all carried ghosts…» «The Things They Carried,» by Tim O'Brien, contains many references to «possessions of character.» Many things Lt. Cross carries were carried by all, including: military equipment, stationery, photographs, diseases, food, the land of Vietnam itself, their lives, and even more. O'Brien highlights these along with special things that Lt. Jimmy Cross carries. He, thus, reveals Freedom bird «They dreamed of freedom birds. At night, on guard, staring into the dark, they were carried away by jumbo jets. They felt the rush of takeoff. Gone! They yelled. (286). «Freedom bird» an appropriate term for the jumbo jets that take the soldiers from their tour because it gives them the freedom from what has The things they carried In The Things They Carried, the characters themselves probably could not tell you why they carried many of the things they did. The things they carried can be divided into three basic groups, the things that everyone had to carry in order to survive, the things that individuals chose to carry, and the mental burdens The Things They Carried: Necessities Sample essay topic, essay writing: The Things They Carried: Necessities - 337 words
The Things They Carried: Necessities In The Things They Carried, the characters themselves probably couldnot tell you why they carried many of the things they did. The things theycarried can be divided into three basic groups, the things that everyone had tocarry in The Things They Carried In the novel The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien the author tells about his experiences in the Vietnam war by telling various war stories. The quote, «It has been said of war that it is a world where the past has a strong grip on the present, where machines seemed sometimes to have more