Question 1

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Question 1

Post  Troy Viking on Mon May 09, 2011 9:39 pm

"Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong", shows the differences between the native land of Vietnam and the world of being an American in Vietnam. Fossie brings Mary Ann to Vietnam in hopes for her to understand what he goes through and that she won't want to know any more about Vietnam. However, once Mary Ann gets there she begins to embrace the culture and wants to learn everything while Fossie tries his best to ignore the culture of the Vietnamese. So, the underlying theme of this story I think can best be described as the role woman play during war. I think that the men become jealous of Mary Ann's ability to adapt to the war better than most men and quicker as well. She has shown the men how much they have changed during the war and I think it begins to scare them.

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Post  cody young on Mon May 09, 2011 10:06 pm

I agree with the fact that the men of the camp were jealous of Mary Anne. She displayed a passion for the war unlike any of the men that were fighting. Her interests in the nieghboring tribes and the Native land was apparent from the time she arrived. When she asked Fossie if she could go visit one of the local tribes he believed that she couldnt handle leaving the safety of the camp, although to his surprise she showed no fear, in fact she was fascinated by the people of the tribe and their way of life. Her increasing curiousity led her to take more risks and experience the war more fully, which led to resent by the men of the camp and expecialy Fossie.
She was changing into a war junky before his eyes, this filled him with feelings of jealousy and regret. The men feel like she betrayed them and herself, when in actuallity I believe that she found her true self. She found what interested her, and she was good at it. She participated in late night ambushes, with stealth unlike any other solder out there. "Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong" shows the difference between those soldiers who get lost in the war (Mary Anne), and those who are there just to serve time (Fossie).

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Re: Question 1

Post  devonfelts on Mon May 09, 2011 10:50 pm

i agree with Troy and Cody that the men of the encampment were both frightened, intrigued, and jealous of Mary Anne. She was brought to Vietnam by Fossie, who wanted to show her how tough the war truly was. once arriving at their platoon, Mary Anne became fascinated with both the soldier's, and the Vietnamese's way of life. She became enraptured in the weaponry and daily life of the soldiers that were going through the war. She quickly distanced herself from Fossie (i see this as being unintentional) and journeyed to a neighboring tribes village, to see what life was like there. She returned weeks later as a whole new person, frightening the men who saw this change. They had seen her physical and psychological transition from a college-student, to a full blown "war junkie". "Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong" is representative of the change Mary Anne went through, the title representing the paradox and irony of how something so sweet and beautiful can only be wrong in a place like Vietnam.

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Re: Question 1

Post  Connor Leardini on Mon May 09, 2011 11:04 pm

I feel as if the concept was not regarding so much of a gender aspect, but more of the array of perspectives one can have on the same place or theme. Vietnam was regarded by the American soldiers as a wet, dangerous homeland of their enemies. The Vietnamese that resided on the war-torn terrain held their homeland to the highest regard, and defended it to their last breath. The completely opposite outlook that Mary Ann had compared to Fossie was O 'Briens' utilization of a contrasting outlook on a setting. All of the perspectives of the characters throughout the book all had the relatable aspect of regarding Vietnam as this awful, forsaken land that they just wanted to head out of, while Mary Ann tends to see the uniqueness of the environment, wishing to learn more about the strange wilderness and its inhabitants. This innate curiosity and independent free will to see surroundings much differently than the rest of the characters could symbolize Mary Ann as a completely different character than the rest of the cast, and goes on to uphold the theme of diverse outlooks further presented in the book.

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