Tim O'Brian's How to Tell a True War Story of the Things They Carried

889 WordsJul 10, 20184 Pages
The Tim O’Brian’s short story, “Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong”, Mary Anne Bell is a rare illustration of the innocence that is lost. In her attractive sweater, unblemished pants and free spirited attitude, no one could seem more faultless. She was the definition of a true young American teenager or at least that’s what they all assumed at first. In the beginning of the story, she is something noticeable to both the soldiers and the reader: she was expected to be a normal American girl who wanted nothing more than a family. The story of her mutation into something different, a killer, mirrors the transformation of most of the soldiers. It is a well-known fact that war changes people; there is an innocence that is forever lost. They go…show more content…
She was very naive because she had no glue what the future holds for her and how Vietnam will transform her, no one did. The more days Mary Anne spent in Vietnam the more she became interested in the culture of war discovering her curious nature. She would listen carefully to the stories she was told and was intrigued by the land and its mystery. Vietnam gave her a new strength, the ability to choose for herself where she would go and who she would become. Anne figuratively became “a different person… there was a new confidence in her voice, a new authority in the way she carried herself”. As Vietnam empowered Mary Anne and gave her a new personality the men could not understand and they began to see an inequity in Mary Anne, but in a true war story there is no morality. Mary Anne was just doing what the men have always done. She stopped taking baths, and spent more of her time hunting and exploring Vietnam with the Greenies. Sometimes she would get so cut up with the forest and sleep out, leaving Mark Fossie hopeless. Mark was able to notice the changes occurring in Mary Anne, this suddenly made him paranoid and extremely disturbed. Because Mark was not affected by the land like Anne was, he was unable to relate to Anne anymore because his way of viewing things, his perception and reality, is no longer

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