Essay on The Things They Carried By Tim O ' Brien

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In Tim O’Brien’s novel, The Things They Carried, he shows the struggles that American soldiers’ experience in the Vietnam war. In one of the short stories the “Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong” one of the soldiers, Mark Fossie, brings over Mary Anne Bell, his high school sweetheart, from back home. She quickly becomes curious about her surroundings in a foreign country far from home and what occurs around them in Vietnam, where she learns of the power and destruction of war. Mary Anne Bell represents the innocence that has been stolen from the soldiers, which dehumanizes them after exposure to war. Mark Fossie’s girlfriend, is seventeen years old just as young as the rest of the soldiers in Vietnam. Initially she is curious about her boyfriend’s world and what it’s like to be at war in Vietnam. Fossie reached out to her and six weeks later she shows up in her sexy pink sweater and culottes, the epitome of a civilian from America.“She was seventeen years old, fresh out of Cleveland Heights Senior High. She had long white legs and blue eyes and a complexion like strawberry ice cream. Very friendly, too… she seemed tired and somewhat lost, but she smiled”(89). Mary Anne Bell represents the innocence of a generation of soldiers, who were untainted and then forced to turn into killing machines. In the beginning of the novel, the soldiers carry things from their girlfriends as good luck to keep them safe from the dangers of being in Vietnam. Women are seen as entertainment or…

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