Character Analysis of Mary Anne "Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong"

1331 Words Apr 20th, 2012 6 Pages
Lauren Bruno
Professor Brennen
English 1020
22 February 2012
Mary Anne Bell of “Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong” by Tim O’Brian It is a well known fact that experiencing war changes people; there is an innocence that is forever lost. In Tim O’Brian’s, “Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong”, Mary Anne Bell is an unusual example of the innocence that is lost in war because unlike the rest of the soldiers, she is a woman. Mary Anne’s transformation from innocent “sweetheart” to fierce warrior left readers with mixed emotions because although Mary Anne felt at peace with her transformation, she was also disconnected from reality. When Mary Anne’s boyfriend, Mark Fossie, had her smuggled into Vietnam to visit him, she arrived looking like
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Once Mary Anne gets the taste for combat and really starts to embrace Vietnam, she feels she is where she belongs. It is not surprising that the feelings and ideas Mary Anne once had about her future life with Mark Fossie start to change during her transformation. Prior to Vietnam, Mary Anne had little life experience and the plans she had made for her life, in the sixth grade, have changed because Mary Anne has changed. She loves the excitement and everything about her new life in Vietnam so passionately that she couldn’t just return to The States and live what would be a much more boring life by comparison. Mary Anne would have not have been able to do it, she was becoming just as much a part of Vietnam as it was becoming a part of her. In the end, just like the other soldiers,” Mary Anne had come over clean and come out dirty and then afterward, it’s never the same” (110). Wearing a necklace made of human tongues, Fossie told Mary Anne that “she was in a place where she doesn’t belong” she replied, confessing “her appetite for Vietnam, how it was inside her and how it all made her feel so alive and she knew exactly who she was there and she couldn’t find that anywhere else” (111). Mary Anne was possessed by the rush of feelings being in Vietnam at brought her, she craved it. She enjoyed going out on night patrols in her camouflage, barefoot, and even stopped carrying a weapon, as though

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