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The Dirtiness of War - An In depth look of "The Things They Carried."

Date Submitted: 09/10/2006 02:42:14
Category: / Society & Culture / Art and Culture
Length: 4 pages (1158 words)
In "Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong", O'Brien uses the story of Mary Anne Bell to illustrate the transformation of young, innocent, naive boys who go off to war and often return as calloused men. Her story, as told by Rat Kiley of Alpha Company, symbolizes the experiences that befall young soldiers who leave a comfortable life at home and begin a journey into the unknown. They arrive in Vietnam innocent and "clean" and are …
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…comes a loss of innocence and in some cases a perverse pleasure in the whole war experience as was the case in Mary Anne's transformation. Rat sums it up by saying that he loved Mary Anne - all the men did. "The way she looked, Mary Anne made you think of those girls back home, how clean and innocent they all are, how they'll never understand any of this, not in a billion years." (pg. 113)
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