Robert Keit March 27 2011
English 162W Professor Dominique Zino
In the Tim O’Brien short story The Things They Carried and the Tuan chapter Intimate Experiences of Place, both deal with places and spaces that a person might feel an attachment with and feels intimate towards. Throughout the story, the narrator mentions what items, or emotions, the soldiers are carrying, and how this affects them. The protagonist, Jimmy Cross, carries with him a pebble that his girlfriend, Martha gave him. Other items that the soldiers carry are guns, letters and photographs. Cross is the leader of this group of soldiers and feels a duty to protect them
The thoughts of his life back at home distract him and one of his soldiers gets shot on his watch. Cross feels that he is responsible and is stricken by grief. He wants to detach himself from his outside possessions. As Tuan states, “Intimate experiences, whether of people or of things, are difficult to make public”(Tuan 147).This is similar to how Cross reacts to the death of one his subordinates and wants to delete any past experiences he had about Martha out of his memory.