Books and Movies Reviews

The Things They Carried

The "sweetheart" in Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong is an American girl by the sweet name of Mary Ann Bell.Her description identifies her as the stereotypical girl of the late 60’s early 70’s. We are introduced to her as a "cute blonde" wearing "white culottes and this sexy pink sweater" (p.102).She is "a tall, big-boned blonde,/long legs and blue eyes and a complexion like strawberry ice cream. Very friendly, too" (p.93). However, her attractive appearance and innocent attitude would change over the next few weeks.
Mary Ann traveled to Vietnam to visit her boyfriend Mark Fossie on his wishes. Nothing seems unusual about her but the fact that she is visiting her boyfriend, at an aid station, during the war. Just as children tend to do she is very curious, "she liked to roam around the compound asking questions" (p.95). She learned many useful skills by "spending time with the ARVN’s out along the perimeter, picking up little phrases of Vietnamese, learning how to cook rice over a can of Sterno, how to eat with her hands; (p.95), she had the mindset ;I’m here, I might as well learn something" (p.96). Then slowly, she began to become more active in the activities of daily life in Vietnam. Because of her fascination with Vietnam, she urges Mark to show her a Vietnamese village nearby and later even swims in a river. Her behavior here actually seems rather naive, not only just curious, but it also proves, that she doesn't hesitate even when danger is involved. The environment began to take hold of her and slowly draw her out and away from her conventional, civilian way of life.
"At the end of the second week, when four casualties came in, Mary Anne wasn’t afraid to get her hands bloody; (p.98). Then the changes became more apparent, ;she quickly fell into the habits of the bush. No cosmetics, no fingernail filing. She stopped wearing jewelry

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