Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Exploration 5: Lindsey Bridges

           I think the story that has meant the most to me is “Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong.” The story really showed me how Vietnam, and war in general, can really change a person. A passage that I felt really summarized how the story made me feel was when Rat was explaining what happened to Mary Anne. He said “What happened to her, was what happened to all of them. You come over clean and you get dirty and afterward it’s never the same.”

            For me, I found it hard to connect with the characters. I think this was because I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to be a soldier in Vietnam during that time. If I had to choose someone who I connected with it would probably be Tim, just because I feel like I would have had the same feelings that he had when he was drafted to war. I feel like he doesn’t dance around the hard things that he went through and he didn’t hide them, even though he wanted to. I like his honesty.

            Tim uses many conventions in his writing. One I have noticed throughout the book is that he often uses repetition when making a point. I think this is so he gets his point across. The very first chapter is titled “The Things They Carried.’ Throughout this chapter numerous sentences began with “the things they carried.” In the chapter “How to Tell a True War Story,” once again numerous sentences began with this theme. Many sections began with “a true war story is.”

            One passage that really stood out to me was on page 81. It read “And in the end, a true war story is never about war. It’s about sunlight. It’s about the special way that dawn spreads out on a river when you know you must cross the river and march into the mountains and do things you are afraid to do. It’s about love and memory. It’s about sorrow. It’s about sisters who never write back and people who never listen.” This was a very powerful passage in my mind. I think that it conveys the way Tim feels about the war, that it isn’t just a war. I think it shows that war isn’t just kill or be killed. It shows that war is everything but war.


  1. For your connection to a character I do agree with you it is hard to relate oneself to the characters in the book because they have such a vastly different lifestyle than our that there is really little to no common ground to relate to

  2. The story about Mary really stood out to me also. I was kinda shocked to see what happened to Mary. I didn't understand how she could be changed so much. I was expecting something bad to happen to her, but I did not expect her to choose to run away. I put myself in her fiance's shoes and I felt terrible. How could someone, who loved him so much turn away from him? That must be what war does to people.

  3. Lindsey,
    I absolutely loved the quote that you used from "Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong". I completely agree with you when you said that this chapter showed how war changes people This chapter touched me and made me very intrigued to read on and finish the book.

  4. I have similar thoughts about what i thought was the most interesting part of the book. That chapter you mentioned to me was one of the more engaging stories. I just wanted to know what happened to her and why.


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