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What Is Love? Tim O Brien's The Things They Carried

2284 words - 9 pages

Have you ever felt the feeling of butterflies in your stomach or heard the phrase “my heart skipped a beat for you”? As children, we grew up learning from our elders and experiencing new beginnings in life. Much of our knowledge has been brought upon by what we see and hear, rather of what we know. Many important decisions we make in our life has to do with what our feelings show us. Love is an important matter in our life because it motivates us in different ways. Love can be shown through emotions or even through actions. What is a valuable definition of love? A brief definition of love can be said to be a variety of different feelings or attitudes that ranges from interpersonal affection to pleasure. In other words, to me love is when two people share the same inner feelings such as emotional and physical attraction to one another. Love is an emotion that can be described to control the feelings of a person by being set together through emotions, not being confused with friendship and being built like a puzzle.

So, how is love brought about? Love can be created through emotions that two people share together. In order for a good structure to be built, there must be a good foundation. Love can be seen as a jigsaw puzzle in correspondence to how every piece must be put together in order for the entire image to be complete. Once complete, it cannot be changed unless a piece is taken away. A good foundation of love is built by people getting to know one another and creating strong bonds. Unity is important because it builds a trust bond between two people. Though love can be strong in person, there are still people that can confuse it because of objects or even words. An example of this confusion can be shown in the novel “The Things They Carried”, by Tim O’ Brien. Jimmy Cross is fond of Martha and shows strong emotions for her. Jimmy Cross shows his emotions towards Martha right at the beginning of the novel by sharing to us the following:
First Lieutenant Jimmy Cross carried letters from a girl named
Martha, a Junior at Mount Sebastian College in New Jersey. They were
not love letters, but Lieutenant Cross was hoping, so he kept them folded
in plastic at the bottom of his rucksack. In the late afternoon, after a
day's march, he would dig his foxhole, wash his hands under a canteen,
unwrap the letters, hold them with the tips of his fingers, and spend the
last hour of light pretending. He would imagine romantic camping trips
into the White Mountains in New Hampshire. He would sometimes taste
the envelope flaps, knowing her tongue had been there. More than
anything, he wanted Martha to love him as he loved her, but the letters
were mostly chatty, elusive on the matter of love (O’Brein, 1)

Unfortunately, this is the way that Jimmy sees love. It can be also described as an addiction or psychological problem that Mr. Cross has. Love should never be confused with lust. In this case, Martha’s friendship was confused by...

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