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Mary Anne Bell In The Things They Carried By Tim O Brien

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Just one step on Vietnam soil can change a person. Some fear that change while others learn to embrace it. Some find out that it isn’t a change at all, but instead a calling to who they really are. In Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, everyone experiences their one step and realize their lives are no longer going to me the same, especially Mary Anne Bell. In “Sweetheart of Song Tra Bong” Mary Anne has an awakening impulse into who she was always destined to be, a true soldier. She becomes part of the land, and for some that is haunting. Mary Anne shows up in Vietnam on a helicopter as a true American girl: “She had long white legs and blue eyes and a complexation like strawberry ice cream” (O’Brien 89). That first appearance seems …show more content…

She feels that it is beginning to feel more like home. Some of the soldiers observe “There was a new confidence in her voice, a new authority in the way she carried herself. In many ways she remained naïve and immature, still a kid, but Cleveland Heights now seemed very far away” (O’Brien 94). As Mark suggests Mary Anne should head home she made proof of that new authority in her voice. She firmly states “Everything I want, she said, is right here” (O’Brien 94). Mary Anne knows this is her new home and she is not planning on leaving, unless that means going out and exploring off camp some more. “The next morning she was gone. The six Greenies were gone, too,” she truly begins to become who she really is, “It was nearly three weeks before she returned. But in a sense she never returned. Not entirely, not all of her” (O’Brien 100). Mary Anne is transforming, …show more content…

The new Mary Anne is a haunting and brave animal who is now accustomed to Vietnam. She is scared of nothing: “At the girl’s throat was a necklace of human tongues,” tongues that showed she is part of the Vietnamese culture, tongues that showed she is not longer the ideal American girl (O’Brien 105). Mary Anne wants to be this place: “Sometimes I want to eat this place. The whole country-the dirt, the death-I just want to swallow it and have it there inside me. That’s how I feel. It’s like this appetite. I get scared sometimes-lots of times-but it’s not bad. You know? I feel close to myself” (O’Brien 106). Mary Anne is this place: “And then one morning, all alone, Mary Anne walked off into the mountains and did not come back” (O’Brien

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