Essay on The Things They Carried & A Soldiers Sweetheart

Essay on The Things They Carried & A Soldiers Sweetheart

Length: 1205 words (3.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Difference Between Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong & A Soldier's Sweetheart

Once a successful novel hits the market, producers are inclined to adapt the story into a movie. Since imagination, symbolism, and character psyches are explored in a novel, the movies tend to lack the luster of the original text. Using their imagination, readers are able to conjure up characters and scenes that are unique. This is the case with Tim O’Brien’s, “Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong.” This is a story where love and war collide after a soldier brings his sweetheart to his Vietnamese post. On the whole, this chapter in The Things They Carried is far superior to the film, The Soldier’s Sweetheart, because it has thorough descriptions of characters’ feelings, including symbolism concerning objects and important events. When the audience is able to draw it's own story around an author's narrative, the experience is more satisfying than when every detail is presented through the cinematic medium - an active audience is happier than a passive one.

Stark contrasts exist between the description of the characters and emotional content between the book and the movie. This may be mainly due to the limited length of the movie. In the movie, Rat Kiley who is telling the story seems gentler. In the book they make it seem like everything Rat says is exaggerated, but the movie does not stress that fact. “Among the men in Alpha Company, Rat had a reputation for exaggeration and overstatement, a compulsion to rev up the facts, and for most of us it was normal procedure to discount sixty or seventy percent of anything he had to say” (O’Brien 89). Also, the movie emphasizes the fact that Rat Kiley fell in love with Mary Anne Bell. He himself says he loved her towards the end of the movie. A character that people may tend to have sympathy for is Mark Fossie. In the book, one may not feel for Fossie. The movie shows the character having more feeling especially after he couldn’t find Mary Anne. A third character that is portrayed differently in the movie than in the book is Mary Anne, who is the main female character of the chapter. The movie stressed the fact that Mary Anne wanted to learn more about the Vietnamese way of life. There was a scene in the movie where Mary Anne spent time with the Vietnamese soldiers learning their language and how to cook their food. They also show her going ...


... middle of paper ...


...amboo flutes and drums and chimes,” (O’Brien 109). “On a post at the rear of the hootch was the decayed head of a large black leopard; strips of yellow-brown skin dangled from the overhead rafters,” (O’Brien 110). The images that come across the readers’ minds are gruesome. With the type of description given, one may immediately think that the Greenies were animal-like human beings. After seeing the movie, the description of the hootch in the novel did not match the Greenies’ post in the movie. The movie only showed the hootch as a room with hundreds of candles all around it. There was nothing gruesome as depicted in the chapter. This is one of the many factors as to why the novel was better than the movie.

In conclusion, details involving the characters and symbolic meanings to objects are the factors that make the novel better than the movie. Leaving out aspects of the novel limits the viewer’s appreciation for the story. One may favor the film over the novel or vice versa, but that person will not overlook the intense work that went into the making of both. The film and novel have their similarities and differences, but both effectively communicate their meaning to the public.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Continuing to Be Affected by the Vietnam War: "The Things They Carried" and "Regret to Inform"

- In the novel The Things They Carried and the documentary Regret to Inform, people that were involved share their recollection of events that occurred during the Vietnam War. Consequently, both works also share the underlying idea that people are affected by the war even after it is done. They convey this meaning through the stories of mental and physical harm each witness deals and dealt with because of the war. The novel, The Things They Carried is a story of one man’s accounts resulting to his tour of duty in Vietnam....   [tags: Things They Carried, ]

Strong Essays
1013 words (2.9 pages)

Free Things They Carried Essays: The Girl Next Door

- The Girl Next Door in The Things They Carried The Feminist Approach Method to critical analysis examines the feminism implied within the text. In Tim O'Brien's, The Things They Carried, the story, "Sweetheart of Song Tra Bong," is a story about the changes in a female when she is exposed to war. But, more importantly it is a story that illustrates how women are more than sex objects. "Sweetheart of Song Tra Bong," proves that female and male stereotypes do not always apply. "Sweetheart of Song Tra Bong," is a story being told by Rat Kiley to Mitchell Sanders, two soldiers of the Vietnam War....   [tags: Things They Carried Essays]

Free Essays
609 words (1.7 pages)

Things They Carried Essay: Syntactic and Paratactic Style

- Syntactic and Paratactic Style in The Things They Carried Many times, when an author writes a story, he will use different techniques to influence the way that the reader absorbs the work. Writers use both paratactic style and syntactic style. These two styles contrast each other greatly, but on the same term, they greatly compliment one another. In the book The Things They Carried, O'Brien uses both of these styles. In this essay, syntactic and paratactic style will be examined in the story "Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong"....   [tags: Things They Carried Essays]

Strong Essays
743 words (2.1 pages)

O'Brien's Things They Carried Essay: An American Nightmare

- History has shaped every country and their people, in particular negative experiences like the Holocaust in Nazi-Germany or the Vietnam war, involving the United States in a grueling controversy from 1964 until 1975. The author Tim O'Brian confronts an American audience in his short stories "The Things They Carried" with the inhumane consequences of political and military power decisions by rewriting history from a subjective,individual point of view. Thus he forces the audience to take a stand, to ask questions, to get morally and ethically involved....   [tags: Things They Carried Essays]

Strong Essays
1470 words (4.2 pages)

Fact Verses Fiction in O'Brien's The Things They Carried Essay

- Fact Verses Fiction in O'Brien's The Things They Carried "The difference between fairy tales and war stories is that fairy tales begin with 'Once upon a time,' while war stories begin with 'Shit, I was there!'" (Lomperis 41). How does one tell a good war story. Is it important to be accurate to the events that took place. Does the reader need to trust the narrator. In The Things They Carried, Tim O'Brien examines what it takes to tell a good war story. He uses his own experiences in Vietnam in conjunction with his imagination to weave together a series of short stories into a novel....   [tags: Things They Carried Essays]

Strong Essays
1458 words (4.2 pages)

Free Things They Carried Essays: Another World

- Another World Portrayed in The Things They Carried In several stories from The Things They Carried, Tim O'Brien deals with the way that American soldiers of the Vietnam War related to being "in country," or out of their own country and halfway across the world. O'Brien creates the concept that Vietnam and the war there is "another world" throughout the stories. None of the soldiers he writes about feel at home in Vietnam, and none of them successfully adapt emotionally to being so far from home....   [tags: Things They Carried Essays]

Free Essays
570 words (1.6 pages)

Overview: The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien Essay

- The Things They Carried is a novel written by Vietnam Veteran Tim O’Brien. The Vietnam War took place between 1955 and 1975. Most of the soldiers fighting were young teenage men around the age of eighteen and nineteen years old. Like O’Brien many of these young men were pulled away from their families and life to fight a war they didn’t approve of or even know about. This had a strong affect on most of these men and O’Brien uses different ways to show how the Vietnam War affected them both physically and mentally....   [tags: vietnam war, soldiers]

Strong Essays
1500 words (4.3 pages)

Desertion in Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong Essay examples

- Desertion in Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong   The "Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong" is a story of many things when looked at from the right perspective. The validity of the story actually has nothing to do with its main purpose, which is to explain how Vietnam changed the American soldiers who were a part of the conflict. O'Brien's purpose is to inform his readers of the effect that Vietnam had on American GI's. Told by Rat Kiley, the "Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong" can be seen as a touching love story; sweethearts united even during a war....   [tags: Things They Carried Essays]

Free Essays
607 words (1.7 pages)

Essay about Transformation in Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong

- Transformation in Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong In Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong, Tim O'Brien gives a dynamic example of how even the deep roots of ones culture can be modified. The focus is on the young lady, whose boyfriend manages to have her shipped over to Vietnam from the U.S. She is then thrown into a completely foreign culture that thousands of American GI's were experiencing. This change in culture affected the strongest and most skilled of America's ground troops. The affects on a civilian are almost unfathomable....   [tags: Things They Carried Essays]

Strong Essays
811 words (2.3 pages)

The Things They Carried Essay example

- Book Review In The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien tells the tale of not about war, but rather about war’s effect on one’s mentality. Ultimately, this novel is built on a foundation of the items that the soldiers of the Vietnam War carried. Whether it was the way Jimmy Cross uses the pebble to escape from his duties as a soldier or when Norman Bowker realizes that courage comes form within, not from receiving a Silver Star; O’Brien uses baggage as a symbol throughout the book to teach that war does in fact change people....   [tags: Tim O'Brien]

Free Essays
1387 words (4 pages)