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Sweetheart of the Song of Tra Bong as Metaphor

Sweetheart of the Song of Tra Bong as Metaphor

The Vietnam War is a strange and unexplainable event in American history. The controversies surrounding the American involvement in Vietnam and the need for Vietnam veterans to tell their stories of the war are prevalent in the post-Vietnam culture of America. “The stories that will last forever are those that swirl back and forth across the border between trivia and bedlam, the mad and the mundane”(89). The story of the sweetheart of the Song of Tra Bong explains this quote of the veteran stories never make exact sense, but they are stories from a war that never quite made exact sense either. The story of “Sweetheart of the Song of Tra Bong,” involving a young girl coming to Vietnam for her boyfriend, becomes a metaphor for the rite of passage that a young soldier would experience during his service in Vietnam.

The other soldiers in the medical detachment were shocked and amazed at the arrival of Mary Anne, Mark Fossie’s girlfriend. She arrived in a typical Americana glory, with her “strawberry ice cream complexion,” and in a somewhat lost and tired daze. Her journey was a myriad of plane connections and layovers. Even in her arrival a metaphor is seen as to how a soldier would arrive in Vietnam. The exact arrival of soldiers into the war is somewhat a confusing and shocking fact of debate. Mary Anne was only seventeen when she arrived in Vietnam, but the soldiers over fighting were not much older than her, many the exact same age. After the initial shock of landing in Vietnam wore off, Mary Anne became curious of her surroundings and what was going on in the war. This also is what a young soldier would experience during his first days of service, and he was trying to u…

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…ut the hidden thoughts and feelings of the narrator are the real things that need to be examined. The Vietnam War is so colluded with uncertainties that it’s meaning and questions of why are still lingering in the minds of citizens of the United States.

Although this interpretation of the metaphor is not one that many adhere to when they first read the story, it is one that deserves some attention. The story can be seen as this transformation of the soldier while serving in Vietnam. This story explains some of the smaller battles that the soldiers went through. They fought for their own identity, killing, and survival. All these battles can be seen through Mary Anne and her trails while in Vietnam. The story of Mary Anne ends with her going to the jungles of Vietnam never to be seen again, and this happens to the soldiers, they will always have Vietnam in them.

Character Analysis of Blanche DuBois in Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire

Character Analysis of Blanche Through Text and Symbolism in A Streetcar Named Desire

Tennessee Williams was once quoted as saying “Symbols are nothing but the natural speech of drama…the purest language of plays” (Adler 30). This is clearly evident in A Streetcar Named Desire, one of Williams’s many plays. In analyzing the main character of the story, Blanche DuBois, it is crucial to use both the literal text as well as the symbols of the story to get a complete and thorough understanding of her.

Before one can understand Blanche’s character, one must understand the reason why she moved to New Orleans and joined her sister, Stella, and brother-in-law, Stanley. By analyzing the symbolism in the first scene, one can understand what prompted Blanche to move. Her appearance in the first scene “suggests a moth” (Williams 96). In literature, a moth represents the soul. So it is possible to see her entire voyage as the journey of her soul (Quirino 63). Later in the same scene she describes her voyage: “They told me to take a streetcar named Desire, and then transfer to one called Cemeteries and ride six blocks and get off at Elysian Fields” (Quirino 63). Taken literally this does not seem to add much to the story. However, if one investigates Blanche’s past, one can truly understand what this quotation symbolizes. Blanche left her home to join her sister, because her life was a miserable wreck in her former place of residence. She admits, at one point in the story, that “after the death of Allan (her husband) intimacies with strangers was all I seemed able to fill my empty heart with” (Williams 178). She had sexual relations with anyone who would agree to it. This is the first step in her voyage-“Desire”. She …

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…n. Boston: Twayne, 1990.

Corrigan, Mary Ann. “Memory, Dream, and Myth in the Plays of Tennessee Williams.” Dialogue in American Drama.

Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1971.

Engle, Paul. “A Locomotive Named Reality,” The New Republic, CXXXII (Jan. 24, 1955), 26, 27.

Falk, Signi. Tennessee Williams. Grosset

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