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Metamorphosis in Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong
The story of the "Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong" is no typical Vietnam war story. It is a story that involves no bloods, guts or glory. This story isn't so much about the physical damage caused by war as much as this story is about the emotional changes that effect not only the males. This is a story that with it's elaboration and ornamentation shows the destruction of innocence. This story is about an impossible that came true.
The story in its simplest form involves two main characters and the storyteller, Rat Kiley, a well-known truth stretcher. The main people that your interest in this story is concerned with are Mark Fossie, a solider with the team of medics that Rat was with, and his girlfriend Mary Anne Belle, a young woman of barely 17 years of age.
Mark Fossie and Mary Anne Belle were childhood sweethearts nearly betrothed at birth. While in Nam, Mark came up with a master plan to fly Mary Anne over to Vietnam to be with him. As men joked one evening about how easy it could be to sneak someone over Mark heard and took this as no joke. He was going to try it! He spent almost all of his money to get her over but it paid off,they were reunited. The picture of a happy couple they spent most of their time together adn for a while things seemed very normal to them. All they had ever known was being a "them" and when they were together things just seemed to be right. How blindly we see things when we are surrounded by the arms of the one we love. She was young and curious and being the only women there she was very flirtatious.
Mary Anne was a bright girl and she wanted to learn all that she could about the war and the land. Her new found purpose becae to find as much as she could about the culture while she was in it. She often went for nature walks and began to learn the Vietnamese language/culture . Even her personality began to change. But eventually she began to learn about guns and war. She started to spend her free time cleaning and shooting. This began the downward trail to her becoming a camo wearing jungle woman.
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The change that Mary Anne underwent would have been ordinary if she were a man. All soliders had arrived with some form innocence in them that had been destroyed and changed within a few weeks. The change in Mary Anne makes readers so much more aware that the change for even a man was not as ordinary as our minds would like it to seem. We want to think that were there for our protection and put their mental strain in the backs of our minds lest we feel some remorse.
When they found Mary Anne she had joined the ranks of the Greenies, the fiercest group of army warriors. She had found a new part of her; you could no longer see the glimpses of innocence. The text said that even her eyes turned from the beautiful blue to a glow of jungle green. This is one of the best examples of how her entire being had been altered.
The texts said that she would never return, entirely. She had been altered by a fire so deep in her that she couldn't hide from it any longer. She eventually walked towards the woods away from the Greenies and was never seen again. Her spirit continued to haunt them as they lived in the woods, as though she was watching over them she was a leaf in the wind never seen again. This seems to be such a fitting exit for her. She became apart of the woodlands apart of where she felt all of her belonging.
This story hits a tough spot in our society today We still feel the sting of the Vietnam war with our society today. So many lives were effected by the Cold war and they are still highly involved in our society and people that grew up in war times are now in our government. We will continue to feel the effect the war had on us for a long time, an experience like Nam would be hard for someone to forget.