Rat Kiley, who has a reputation for exaggeration, tells a story of his first assignment in the mountains of Chu Lai, in a protected and isolated area where he ran an aid station with eight other men near a river called the Song Tra Bong. One day, Eddie Diamond, the highest ranking man in his company and a pleasure-seeker, jokingly suggests that the area is so unguarded and seemingly safe that you could even bring a girl to the camp there. A younger medic, Mark Fossie, seems interested in the idea and goes off to write a letter. Six weeks later, his elementary school sweetheart, Mary Anne Bell, arrives, carried in by helicopter with a resupply shipment.
Upon reading the story, one would first assume that it takes place in Vietnam. The story intertwines between the two settings, and in order to completely grasp the idea behind them, one must first recognize, then separate and analyze the two settings.
Upon the first reading of this work, the reader finds himself dropping into the story of a seemingly misplaced girl in Vietnam. The role of Rat Kiley seems somewhat minor and irrelevant.
Upon the second and third times through, however, his role as the storyteller stands out. It becomes more evident that he holds Mary Anne with the highest regard.
He romanticizes her relationship with the war. He is so amazed with the fact that a girl can be seduced by the lure of the wilderness that he begins to talk about her with the listeners as if she were the attractive girl from school that everyone knows but nobody dates.
Mary Anne made you think about those girls back home, how clean and innocent they all are.
He is shaping how the story is seen. Had somebody cared enough to take control of the little base, there would be no resistance. Rat wanted to let the reader know his opinion on the citizens of the Viet Cong, how he wants the listener to think of them.
Not because he thought Fossie felt she was right, but because he loved her. He wanted to bracket the full range of meaning. He wants the reader to want to become one with the jungle. Everybody comes in without a clue.
They get their view on the future and humanity raped away by the deflowering of reality in the jungle. This story takes place within a character. He shows the reader what Rat deems important, and he constantly adds his own twist to it all. As he said, he loved her.
He is going to put her on a pedestal for the world to view and appreciate. On the top, the character at this level, the only one that matters is the setting. Now that one has identified the skew of the stained glass window the story is viewed the through, one can begin to fully appreciate what happened to Mary Anne, and the conflict she encounters.
She finds herself torn between the civilized world which has her long time love, and the uncivilized world, Vietnam where she can exist in her purest form. No cosmetics, no fingernail filing.
Summary. O'Brien recalls a story of Rat Kiley's. Though Rat swears the story is true, O'Brien doubts its accuracy. He explains that Rat exaggerates not because he wants to deceive, but because he wants listeners to almost feel the story so that it seems more real. Need help with Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong in Tim O’Brien's The Things They Carried? Check out our revolutionary side-by-side summary and analysis. (Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong.6) When Mary Anne first gets to Vietnam, she's the embodiment of every thing the soldiers think of as home, as familiar. Rat is totally incredulous at the Americanness of her dress, there in Vietnam— culottes, a pink sweater.
She stopped wearing jewelry, cut her hair short and wrapped it in a dark green bandanna. She was part of the land. What makes this girl who has everything she wants give it all up to live like an animal? Mary Anne finally shed the illusions of grandeur from home and decided she wanted to be a woman of the bush.
It all starts with natural curiosity. Mary Anne wants to understand the ways of war. However, she inexplicably finds herself out on ambush with the Green Berets. Self dependency is good. One should live within the wilderness.
One should wear a necklace of tongues. Here is a man who has been in-country for a decent amount of time. He should be the one who, in relation to her, understands the war.
At its base level, the inner core of Song Tra Bong, the interaction between setting and character is immense.
So immense, in fact, that the setting itself becomes a character, interacting with the other characters, causing conflict. At its base level, Song Tra Bong is about the land, and maturing to return to innocence. I want to swallow the whole country — the dirt, the death — I just want to eat it and have it there inside me.
She has found her calling. In Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong, setting is paramount.Summary.
O'Brien recalls a story of Rat Kiley's. Though Rat swears the story is true, O'Brien doubts its accuracy. He explains that Rat exaggerates not because he wants to deceive, but because he wants listeners to almost feel the story so that it seems more real.
“Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong” Summary. O’Brien says the most enduring Vietnam stories are those that are between the absolutely unbelievable and the mundane.
Need help with Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong in Tim O’Brien's The Things They Carried? Check out our revolutionary side-by-side summary and analysis. (Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong.6) When Mary Anne first gets to Vietnam, she's the embodiment of every thing the soldiers think of as home, as familiar.
Rat is totally incredulous at the Americanness of her dress, there in Vietnam— culottes, a pink sweater. “The Sweetheart of Song Tra Bong” is the only story in which a female character is the protagonist.
Even then, the woman’s own sensibility remains a mystery. Her narrative is filtered through a . The story starts when Rat is assigned to a small medical detachment in the mountains near a village called Tra Bong and a river called the Song Tra Bong.
There isn't a lot of military oversight in the medics' compound, and the security is provided by a mix of RFs (Regional Forces), PFs (Popular Forces), and ARVN (Army of the Republic of Vietnam) infantry.