Exposing the Truth in Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong

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Exposing the Truth in Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong "Dear Mom and Dad: The war that has taken my life, and many thousands of others before me, is immoral, unlawful, and an atrocity," (letter of anonymous soldier qtd. In Fussell 653). Tim O'Brien, a Vietnam war vet, had similar experiences as the soldier above. Even though O'Brien didn't die, the war still took away his life because a part of him will never be the same. Even in 1995, almost thirty years after the war, O'Brien wrote, "Last night suicide was on my mind. Not whether, but how. Tonight it will be on my mind again... I sit in my underwear at this unblinking fool of a computer and try to wrap words around a few horrid truths" (Vietnam 560). 1 think that O'Brien is still suffering from what he experienced in Vietnam and he uses his writing to help him deal with his conflicts. In order to deal with war or other traumatic experiences, you sometimes just have to relive the experiences over and over. This is what O'Brien does with his writing; he expresses his emotional truths even if it means he has to change the facts of the literal truth. The literal truth, or some of the things that happen during war, are so horrible that you don't want to believe that it could've actually have happened. For instance, "[o]ne colonel wanted the hearts cut out of the dead Vietcong to feed to his dog.... Ears were strung together like beads. Parts of Vietnamese bodies were kept as trophies; skulls were a favorite... The Twenty-fifth Infantry Division left a 'visiting card,' a torn off shoulder patch of the division's emblem, stuffed in the mouth of the Vietnamese they killed," (Fussell 655). While we don't want to believe these things because they sound too atrocious, soldi... ... middle of paper ... ...e who sent the soldiers to war are just as responsible as the soldiers for any acts of war they committed. Works Cited Fussell, Paul. "Vietnam." The Bloody Game: An Anthology of Modern War. Ed. Paul Fussell. London: Scribners, 1991. 651-6. O'Brien, Tim. "How to Tell a True War Story." Writing as Re-Vision. Eds. Beth Alvarado and Barbara Cully. Needham Heights, MA: Simon & Schuster Custom Publishing, 1996. 550-8. _________. In the Lake of the Woods. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1994. __________. "The Lives of the Dead." The Things They Carried. New York: Viking Penguin, 1990. 255-273. __________. "The Vietnam in Me." Writing as Re-Vision. 559-571. Schroeder, Eric James. "Tim O'Brien: Maybe So." Vietnam, We've All Been There: Interviews with American Writers. Ed. Eric James Schroeder. Westport, Conn: Praeger, 1992. 125-43.

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