The Things They Carried

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Assignment 1
In Tim O’Briens The Things They Carried, the character of Mary Anne, in the chapter Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong serves as a metaphor for the loss of innocence that the soldiers lose during their time in the war.

“The guys sometimes liked to kid her...- but Mary Anne would just smile and stick out her tongue”(96). As a child, you would stick out your tongue to make fun of someone or use it as gesture towards someone who was making fun of you. In the beginning, when Mary Anne first arrives, she holds herself very immature. With the sticking out of her tongue she proves that she has the mentality of a child when she first arrives. She does this to avoid a confrontation of having to prove that she is not a native of the land and that she belongs there just like the rest of the men do. But then as the time goes on, you no longer see her sticking her tongue out like a child. She loses her “Bubbly” personality and her “Nervous giggling”(99). The once childlike acts that she was known for have been lost in the war. The men also would no longer kid around with her but would treat her as a soldier herself, and that was how she wanted to be treated.

But she was not a soldier. She was a young female with as Eddie Diamond described it, “D-cup guts, trainer bra brains” (97). D-cup guts infers her to having adult like courage. A developed sense of courage. But inside she has the mentality of a young teen with brains of a training bra. Very immature and non developed. She does not have the experience and the knowledge of an adult. An adult who is in the middle of an important war. When she came to the war she had dreams of marriage, kids and a gingerbread house(94). The dream of all young women for when they are older. The perfect life with the man of their dreams. But as the war goes on she has new experiences and she feels the importance of that dream. She longer wants to marry so quickly but wants to travel and not as many kids. Now with more...
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