This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Exposing The Truth In Sweetheart Of The Song Tra Bong

2218 words - 9 pages

Exposing the Truth in Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong

   "Dear Mom and Dad: The war that has taken my life, and many thousands of others before me, is immoral, unlawful, and an atrocity," (letter of anonymous soldier qtd. In Fussell 653).

Tim O'Brien, a Vietnam war vet, had similar experiences as the soldier above. Even though O'Brien didn't die, the war still took away his life because a part of him will never be the same. Even in 1995, almost thirty years after the war, O'Brien wrote, "Last night suicide was on my mind. Not whether, but how. Tonight it will be on my mind again... I sit in my underwear at this unblinking fool of a computer and try to wrap words around a few horrid truths" (Vietnam 560). 1 think that O'Brien is still suffering from what he experienced in Vietnam and he uses his writing to help him deal with his conflicts. In order to deal with war or other traumatic experiences, you sometimes just have to relive the experiences over and over. This is what O'Brien does with his writing; he expresses his emotional truths even if it means he has to change the facts of the literal truth.

The literal truth, or some of the things that happen during war, are so horrible that you don't want to believe that it could've actually have happened. For instance, "[o]ne colonel wanted the hearts cut out of the dead Vietcong to feed to his dog.... Ears were strung together like beads. Parts of Vietnamese bodies were kept as trophies; skulls were a favorite... The Twenty-fifth Infantry Division left a 'visiting card,' a torn off shoulder patch of the division's emblem, stuffed in the mouth of the Vietnamese they killed," (Fussell 655). While we don't want to believe these things because they sound too atrocious, soldiers like O'Brien come home and tell us that these stories are true. In fact, when we read in "The Vietnam in Me" about the trial of Lt. Calley and Charlie Company, we find out that the truth was worse than the stories. From the facts from the trial, we learn that there were anywhere from 343 - 504 fatalities and. that "[t]he crimes visited on the inhabitants of Son My Village included individual and group acts of murder, rape, sodomy, maiming, assault on noncombatants and the mistreatment and killing of detainees," ( Col. Wilson as qtd in Vietnam 562). You might think that what happened in My Lai was the worst of it all, but O'Brien says that, "Wreckage was the rule. Brutality was S.O.P." (566). Because the war was so confusing and because the soldiers couldn't tell who the enemy was, many felt that, "the army had no solution but to kill people, uniformed or not, old or young, male or female, proven Viet Cong or not," (Fussell 654). To me this is how some tried to justify killing but still some just couldn't make themselves feel as if they were justified.

The result of this guilt for the soldiers, psychologically, is that some of them seemed to go insane. For instance, at the trial, one of the soldiers of Charlie...

Find Another Essay On Exposing the Truth in Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong

Loss, a Common Theme in Sweetheart of the Song Trabong and Fences

1901 words - 8 pages Mark Fossie from the “Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong” and Troy Maxson from “Fences” are two different literary characters in two different types of literary work that have many similarities. The “Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong” written by Tim O” Brien is a fiction story. “Fences” by August Wilson is a play. Both of these literature works have a theme of loss, whether it is of the character himself or someone the character loves deeply. The

"Silent Spring" Exposing the truth and the hidden dangers of DDT

1967 words - 8 pages For many decades Dichloro-Diphenyl-Trichloroethane, also known as DDT, was considered a wonderful chemical for controlling insects. Silent Spring written by Rachel Carson in 1962 exposed the hidden dangers of indiscriminate spraying of DDT and other pesticides. In chapter fourteen Carson suggests that DDT and other pesticides could possibly cause cancer. She also exposed that the agricultural use of DDT and other pesticides was a threat to

Exposing the Corruption in India

1609 words - 7 pages Corruption is something we never really want to hear about, but is a very serious matter to contend. The idea that one person would extort or hold power over another human being isn’t a highly talked about subject. However, in India there is a problem with corruption, which has run out of control. People subject to poverty in India and considered poor by other nations’ standards are taken for what little cash they have or property they own by

Exposing The Irony of McCarthyism

680 words - 3 pages “investigated” and found that they shared the same traits as the accused. Presidents and Betsey Ross were considered Communists since they had a connection to the color red, while everyone who despised and denounced the color was considered “holy” in people’s minds. And so, Bob Dylan’s song shows an accurate though partially humorous account of the irony of the Red Scare. Both authors, the musician Bob Dylan and playwright Arthur Miller wrote their

The Truth Behind The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

977 words - 4 pages The Truth Behind The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock The Truth Behind "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" The speaker of this ironic monologue is a modern man who, like many of his kind, feels isolated and incapable of decisive action. Irony is apparent from the title, for this is not a conventional love song. Prufrock would like to speak of love to a woman, but he does not have the nerve. The poem opens with a quoted passage

Exposing the Role of Women in The Madwoman in the Attic

1717 words - 7 pages Exposing the Role of Women in The Madwoman in the Attic       In their book The Madwoman in the Attic, Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar address the issue of literary potential for women in a world shaped by and for men. Specifically, Gilbert and Gubar are concerned with the nineteenth century woman and how her role was based on her association with the symbols of angels, monsters, or sometimes both. Because the role of angel was ideally

Exposing the Real Jasmine

1843 words - 7 pages identity is dictated by a dominant patriarchal society while exposing the consequences of being born a girl. In Hindu culture, the sex of a baby is more significant than in western cultures. In eastern countries, boys are revered and cherished while girls are considered “curses” since being born a girl brought to the father the burden of paying a dowry. This type of gender hierarchy is exemplified in Mukherjee’s novel by Jasmine’s statement, “I

The Things They Carried & A Soldiers Sweetheart

1203 words - 5 pages Difference Between Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong & A Soldier's Sweetheart Once a successful novel hits the market, producers are inclined to adapt the story into a movie. Since imagination, symbolism, and character psyches are explored in a novel, the movies tend to lack the luster of the original text. Using their imagination, readers are able to conjure up characters and scenes that are unique. This is the case with Tim O’Brien’s

The Double Minority in Song of Solomon

829 words - 3 pages Morrison's Song of Solomon, the African American female characters demonstrate the impact of having a double minority status. The female characters in Song of Solomon exhibit the difficulties for double minorities. Macon Dead and his family are a prominent, middle-class African American family. Although slavery has been over for a long time, the Dead's house has a feel of a prison. Macon seems to be the master of his house, and the women in his

Gender Inequality in the Song of Songs

5117 words - 20 pages Gender Inequality in the Song of Songs INTRODUCTION Postcolonial Feminist Theory has taught us to look beyond the confines of narrow cultural lenses as we seek to understand the diversity of gendered experience. I believe it is even more empowering to go one step further and to look not only cross-culturally but also cross-temporally. In America, when the general population tries to articulate what traditional female gender roles were

Prejudice in The Song of Roland

1743 words - 7 pages Prejudice in The Song of Roland Unfortunately, the role of ignorance and jealousy combining to breed fear and hatred is a recurring theme in history ultimately exhibiting itself in the form of prejudice. As demonstrated through the altering of historical events in The Song of Roland, the conflict between the Christian and Islamic religions takes precedence over the more narrow scope of any specific battle and is shaped, at least in part by

Similar Essays

Transformation In Sweetheart Of The Song Tra Bong

815 words - 3 pages Transformation in Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong In Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong, Tim O'Brien gives a dynamic example of how even the deep roots of ones culture can be modified. The focus is on the young lady, whose boyfriend manages to have her shipped over to Vietnam from the U.S. She is then thrown into a completely foreign culture that thousands of American GI's were experiencing. This change in culture affected the strongest and

Society's Beliefs Revealed In Sweetheart Of The Song Tra Bong

883 words - 4 pages  Society's Beliefs Revealed in Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong   One steamy, humid afternoon in 1961 the first United States helicopter landed in Vietnam dispensing immature boys onto the soggy marshlands. Some would return to that same helicopter one day, whether it be wrapped in a poncho about to be taken to the morgue, lying strapped to a stretcher about to report to the hospital, or standing tall holding their heads high because they

The Things They Carried: Motifs Exhibited In "Sweetheart Of The Song Tra Bong"

1271 words - 5 pages There are many war stories written by many war veterans but The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien stands out from rest. Tim O'Brien communicates that the Vietnam War was about more than just battles. One story in particular, "Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong," captures this idea. In this story, Rat Kiley tells of the story of a soldier who brought his elementary school sweetheart out to Vietnam, but she fell in love with Vietnam, embraced it

War Influence In Sweetheart Of The Song Tra Bong By Tim O’brien

1066 words - 5 pages In the story “Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong” by Tim O’Brien, the story is taking place during the beginning of the Vietnam war in the Quảng Ngãi Province of Tra Bong in Vietnam. We are introduced to Mark Fossie,a member of the medical corps that are stationed in Cui Lai or also known as Danang. War time is hard on everyone, and it can have a hard impact on the soldiers that are stationed in the various places. This story explains the fact