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* Thesis: Jimmy Cross has leadership but falls short of it because of his guilt of the deaths in his group so he lives his life in grief since he never forgave himself of the deaths.The Things They Carried by Tim O’brien is novel narrated by Tim O’Brien describing events that occurred during his experience in the Vietnam War.
Towards the end of the novel, another death occurs of the character, Kiowa. In the chapter, ‘Love’, Jimmy Cross goes to visit Tim O’Brien at his home in Massachusetts.
While the rest of the group went looking for his body, Cross, the leader, went in a type of revelation believing that, once again, he should take the blame for other soldier’s death. The two friends sit and reminiscence about the war.
Throughout the events that took place, deaths occurred leaving Cross feeling responsible for the deaths.
Cross’ has leadership but fell short of it because of the guilt of the deaths in his group, so, he lives his life in grief since he never forgave himself of the deaths.
We see them trudge through the muck of a constant downpour, get hit by sniper fire, pull body parts out of a tree, laugh while they tell their stories to each other, and fall silent when faced with making sense of it all—both in the moment and twenty years later.
The book is split into a lush mosaic of vignettes drawn from O'Brien's own experiences.
While getting the body, he thinks that someone or something has to take the blame. When they two see a picture of Ted Lavender, Jimmy Cross confesses he never forgave himself.
“At one point, I remember, we paused over a snapshot of Ted Lavender, and after a while Jimmy rubbed his eyes and said he’d never forgiven himself for Lavender’s death.
Published in 1990 to vast critical acclaim and written with the help of a National Endowment for the Arts creative writing fellowship, a novel about his experiences in that war, has sold well over two million copies worldwide and was a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award.
More recently, the book was included among Amazon.com’s “List of 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime” and was credited as the inspiration for a National Veterans Art Museum exhibit of the same name in Chicago.