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Post  WillMeisner on Tue May 10, 2011 10:12 am

Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong is a powerful story filled with suspense and vivid imagery. It is one that portrays the worst aspects of the Vietnam War- not the fighting, but the emotional and physiological impacts of the American soldiers. In it, a young and naive American girl is brought to Vietnam to be with her lover. Over time, this girl changes emotionally from this innocent school kid to this brutal warrior; one apart of the land. It was as if the wild land was a drug to her that changed her forever. To me, the theme is that contrary to popular belief, anyone's personality can change to fit their surroundings. Mary Anne came to Vietnam as a girl that could never belong there, and actually ended up being the one who belongs there the most. She changed from being the most passionate lover of Fossie to one who could not be more different than him- a change that shocked everyone. In the beginning, she wore "white culottes and [a] sexy pink sweater"; at the end, a necklace of tongues.


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Post  Haleywebb on Tue May 10, 2011 2:28 pm

I agree when you say she changed to fit her surroundings, but i think the change in her was deeper than that. What the men missed most was their sweethearts back home. They described them as naive, young, carefree and always very pretty and bubbly. But they also say that the women couldn't understand their war stories and and would just laugh them off but not understanding what they experienced. Mary Anne had grew up her whole life treated as that fragile and beautiful girl, but here in Vietnam she has the opportunity to change and became something she really wanted. Nobody besides Fossie cared that she changed, she fit in with the guys and became just another person who belonged more so than others, she was good at keeping up with them. To Mary Anne it was an escape from her perfect life that she was good at but never wanted. Fossie hated the change because he realized he had lost the girl who was once the love of his life. He wanted the All American girl back home who wouldn't understand his war stories and would want their perfect picturesque life style with a house and children. By bringing Mary Anna to Vietnam he altered how she perceived life and forever altered their relationship with each other.


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