Question 1

Go down

Question 1

Post  abbgately on Sun May 08, 2011 9:01 pm

The story “Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong” has a hidden theme to it. Rat Kiely’s story of portrays how Vietnam and war in general steals a person’s purity. Mary Anne is the epitome of innocence. Everything, from her name to hometown to her sex, exemplifies innocence. Yet as she continues her stay in Vietnam, she changes to a fierce and independent creature, stripped of her sweet appearance. Mary Anne represents all of the soldiers in the novel. There was no true way to keep one’s innocence in Vietnam with all the surrounding death and destruction. The men became tainted and could never retreat back to their pre-war state. O’Brien once again paints a brutally honest image for the reader with the description of Mary Anne’s human tongue necklace. This is the final blow to Mary Anne’s pure outlook and contradicts the aspects of her otherwise innocent appearance.

Overall, the story ”Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong" is about the loss of innocence in Vietnam. Mary Anne represents all of the soldiers in the novel through her transformation of pure to corrupt. Vietnam completely influenced her, just like it influenced all of the men stationed there.


Last edited by abbgately on Mon May 09, 2011 6:18 pm; edited 1 time in total

abbgately

Posts : 7
Join date : 2011-05-01

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Response to Abbie

Post  Jenna Strobel on Sun May 08, 2011 11:47 pm

I agree with Abbie but I also believe there is another theme in the story “Sweetheart of the song Tra Bong”. Stereotypes of men and women during this time period are lost in this story; it is as if Mark Fossie and Mary Anne switch gender roles. The original reason Fossie brought her to Vietnam was to give him comfort and some normalcy in the men’s lives. They assumed she would be the stereotypical women, cooking, cleaning and not interested in war but they were completely wrong. She instantly began to learn about the Vietnam culture, on her own, as well as take part in adventurous activities. Mary Anne began going on ambushes and becoming “one with the land”. She was consumed by the Vietnam culture and empowered by war, which was completely unexpected from a woman. Later in the story when Fossie heard she had returned to camp he searched for closure from her but she rejected him and went to be part of the land. The once innocent woman was now the braver and stronger person out of the two. Mary Anne gave it her all while some men slacked off. The underlying theme may just be that women can do anything a man can do and sometimes even better.

Jenna Strobel

Posts : 7
Join date : 2011-04-28

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Question 1

Post  KatyFernandez on Mon May 09, 2011 6:46 pm

I think both Abbie and Jenna are correct here. Mary can symbolize a lot in this story, but I think it's mainly based on the old saying "curiosity killed the cat". Because Mary Ann came to Vietnam with no second guess's and no real fears just to see Fossie, she was completely arrogant and blind to what was really going on over there. When she got there, she transformed dramatically, and that dramatic transformation was definitely done on purpose to really exemplify the changes all the men and women went through when they were placed in Vietnam. No one expected the beautiful, innocence high school girl to become an animal of war, but because no one could have ever guessed what war does to one, you watched her make that change.

KatyFernandez

Posts : 5
Join date : 2011-05-02

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Reply to Abbie

Post  joeg3193 on Mon May 09, 2011 6:51 pm

I agree with Abbie's claim that the theme of "Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong" was a loss of innocence, but I believe that there is a deeper theme underlying that one: the power of change. It is clear that Vietnam, and the violence surrounding it, tainted people adn removed their innocence, but I believe, as exemplified by Norman Bowker, that the war had the power to completely change them, not just strip them of their innocence. Bowker was happy-go-lucky, albeit a littel aloof, when he first arrived in Vietnam, but when he returned home his depression and eventual suicide highlitghted the change. Therefore, although not the biggest theme in this chapter, change was introduced here and was built upon throughout the rest of the story.

joeg3193

Posts : 8
Join date : 2011-04-30

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Reply to Abbie

Post  Shannon Christensen on Mon May 09, 2011 10:19 pm

I agree with Abbie, that the "Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong" was the loss of innocence. Mary Anne represented the picture of innocent, the image that the soldiers thought of when they pictured home. Throughout the story Mary Anne transforms, first slowly, through curiousity, and then rather rapidly, until at the end of the story she herself had become a part of Vietnam. O'brien even describes her as being, "dangerous" and "ready for the kill." However, I also thought the story portrayed the stereotypes of women during the way, and how men expected them to be items of comfort, almost one-dimensional. Also, I believe Mary Anne showed how a person must choose between two cultures, that one cannot exist in the middle of them, in this case between American culture and Vietnamese culture.

Shannon Christensen

Posts : 7
Join date : 2011-05-02

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Question 1

Post  Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum