The Things They Carried

the things they carried

6. What role does Martha play in the story? Why does Lieutenant Cross burn her letters?

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Martha is a few years younger than Jimmy Cross, does not love the soldier back but writes him letters and sends him mementos anyway. She is a poet and dreamer and university student who loves the work of Virginia Woolf.

Cross burns his letters from Martha so that her presence will not distract him from his constant sacrifice to his men.