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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 loss can be a physical loss of the person through death or a mental loss of the person through a tough breakup that the character brought on himself. The “Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong” ends with Mark losing his sweetheart Mary Anne Bell to the Greenies and “Fences” ends with the death of Troy. Even though they each have a different ending, they both end with a loss that is hinted at throughout the stories using foreshadowing. The characters Mark Fossie and Troy are similar in that they both are controlling, they both have a sweetheart, and by the end of the story, they lose someone.
Mark Fossie from the “Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong” was in the Vietnam War with fellow soldiers. He misses his longtime girlfriend Mary Anne Bell, who he has been dating since they were children. He says to the soldiers, “You know. Bring in a girl. I mean, what’s the problem?” That was followed by “six weeks later his girlfriend showed up.” Mark wrote a letter to Mary Anne saying he missed her and he wanted her to come and be with him. He controls her because she listened and came. Any other girl would have told her boyfriend or husband that she will see him when he gets home. After some time, Mary Anne feels comfortable being in Vietnam and starts to be with the Greenies. When this happens, Mark gets mad. He says to his soldiers, “We got a problem.” He does not want his girlfriend to go off and be with the Greenies. He is controlling and wants her to stay by his side all the time. Mark being over controlling is a method of foreshadowing that hints to the reader that by the end of the story, they will not be together.
Troy Maxson from “Fences” has a wife named Rose who is ten years younger than him. Throughout the play, there are instances where Troy controls her. Armstrong says, “Troy is very strong and set in his ways. He is a very hardened man who has had to survive on his own since he was young. He says exactly what he feels, regardless of how they may affect the person, who can be his wife or sons” (Armstrong, 17). When he is talking to Jim Bono, his friend, he tells her to go away. In the beginning of the play, he talks to Bono and she comes outside. Troy says, “What you worried about what we getting in for? This is men talk, woman.” When he says “men talk” this symbolizes that he thinks of Rose and women as being lower than men. He thinks that she will not understand what they are talking about and he would not want her to anyways. Troy also mentions Death a lot. He claims that he has wrestled with Death. He says,...

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