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“Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong”
Transcript of “Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong”
The Things They Carried
Vivid descriptive language that appeals to one or more of the senses.
The quality of a verb that conveys the writer's attitude toward a subject.
Things they carried - Tim O'brien
The theme of this short story is love. Fossie loved Mary Anne, but becuase of Vietnam they will never be together. He thought that having her there would give them time together but instead, it gave her time to see things she has never seen before, and change.
O’Brien says the most enduring Vietnam stories are those that are between the absolutely unbelievable and the mundane. Mark Fossie, heard that bringing a girl to his military camp would be difficult but not impossible. He decides to write a letter to his school sweetheart Mary Anne Bell. Mary Anne arrives, carried in by helicopter with a resupply shipment. The next two weeks, they carry on like school children. Mary Anne is curious and a fast learner—she picks up some Vietnamese and learns how to cook. When four casualties come in, she isn’t afraid to tend to them, learning how to repair arteries and shoot morphine. Fossie can see that Mary Anne is changing and confronted her about going home,but she argues that she is staying. They become officially engaged and discuss wedding plans in the mess hall, but over the next several nights it becomes clear that there is a strain on their relationship. Mary Anne is not pleased with the prospect and she becomes withdrawn, and she eventually disappears. Mary Anne returns three weeks later, but she doesn’t even stop at her fiancé’s bunk and she goes straight to the Special Forces hut. He goes into the hut and notices that candles are lit everywhere, and tribal music is playing. He then spots Mary Anne, she was wearing the same exact clothes she came with but coming closer he could saw that she was wearing a necklace made of human tounges. She insists to Fossie that what she is doing isn’t bad and that he, in his sheltered camp, doesn’t understand Vietnam. Fossie says that he never knew what happened with Mary Anne Two months later he ran into Eddie Diamond, he learned that Mary Anne delighted in night patrols and in the fire. She had crossed to the other side and had become part of the land.
On a post near the back of the bunk is the head of a leopard—its skin dangles from the rafters. When Fossie finally sees Mary Anne she is in the same outfit—pink sweater, white blouse, cotton skirt—that she was wearing when she arrived weeks before. But when he approaches her, he sees a necklace made of human tongues around her neck.
His elementary school sweetheart, Mary Anne Bell, arrives, carried in by helicopter with a resupply shipment. They become officially engaged and discuss wedding plans in the mess hall, but over the next several nights it becomes clear that there is a strain on their relationship.
Point of View
The perspective from which a speaker or writer tells a story or presents information.
The next morning, Fossie stations himself outside the Special Forces area, where he waits until after midnight. When Kiley and Eddie Diamond go to check on Fossie, he says he can hear Mary Anne singing.
This story is told from a third person point of view, where it explains Fossie's experiences.
A writer's attitude toward the subject and audience. Tone is primarily conveyed through diction, point of view, syntax, and level of formality.
After a while, Fossie suggests that Mary Anne think about going home, but she argues that she is content staying.
The tone of this story is optimistic, and joyful, but he was betrayed by the love of his life.
A course of reasoning aimed at demonstrating truth or falsehood.
Fossie suggests that Mary Anne think about going home, but she argues that she is content staying.
Fossie notices that Mary is changing and wants her to go home so she can be back to the regular self.
Relationship to the first story
In this story, it shows hows being in the military can change your life forever. It changes who a person is by seeing what they see in war. Nothing can change what we see and prevention can help.