Change In The Things They Carried a war novel by Tim O'Brien, we are told many short stories compiled to make a whole. I want to emphasis on the importance of the chapter "Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong". In this chapter we are introduced to the character Mary Anne. She shows the changing power of Vietnam, that a sweet innocent young girl can come into this land and be forever consumed by her surroundings. The speaker show us this through character action, character description, dialogue and metaphor; this enhances the literary work by showing us that the soldiers will always be a part of Vietnam no matter how hard they try to get away from it.
Mary Anne was a young sweet innocent girl unaffected by the war at first. The speaker shows us with character description from what she was wearing when she arrived. "This cute blonde just a kid, just barely out of high school white culottes and this sexy pink sweater."(O'Brien 90) Her "pink sweater" is a symbol for innocence, the color pink is associated with innocence; "barely out of high school" can also imply her innocence. The end of high school is the beginning of a new world for most. Thus meaning that she has her whole life in front of her. That she is just starting life. In this next quote you will see that she had the rest of her life planned out or so she thought. "Mary Anne Bell and Mark Fossie had been sweethearts since grammar school. From the sixth grade on they had known for a fact that they would get married that was the plan. They were very much in love, full of dreams, and in the ordinary flow of their lives the whole scenario might well have come true."(94) The speaker placed this quote to foreshadow Mary Anne's change. "Ordinary flow of their lives the whole sc...
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This story enhances the literary work for it shows what can happen if you embrace a culture while surrounded by others who are just simply living off the land not being courteous to those who live on it. Her love for this land changed her forever, She is not the same sweet innocent Mary Anne who came off of that helicopter, and she is now one with Vietnam. This is a metaphor for what took place in the lives of soldiers, they go there expecting to just "hump" along but get consumed by the land. It forever changes them so that they will never be the same again. There minds are forever warped, they will go in as one person and leave another. The speaker uses Mary Anne as an accelerated version of a soldier's life to make a dramatic effect. She is to show how much a man changes after war, no matter how hard they try to deny it. The war has became a part of them.
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