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English 102 Personal Position

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Duy Le

English 102

Professor Nancy Miller

July 5, 2019

Week #1: Discussion Board

From the very first sentence of the story, O’Brien begins to impress readers by the admission “This is one story I've never told before.” (Tim O’Brien). He was very skillful in using the concept It’s More Than Just Rain or Snow in How to Read Literature Like a Professor of Thomas Foster. Indeed, it is not just only Tim’s confession but also the way the story was established and created an immediate empathy between the reader and the O'Brien character. In addition, through his disclosure, the reader may be curious about the story which is a part of memory or perhaps an unresolved story. The reader will wonder what story the author cannot tell anyone, what great secret is being hidden and why the author wants to reveal it now. By setting up such stories, the author has gained attention from readers.

In the other side, in this story, the writer used many metaphorical images such as in order to explain why it took 20 years to reveal this secret, Tim likened the courage as “an inheritance, and by being frugal and stashing it away and letting it earn interest” (Tim O’Brien). One of the worth metaphorical images is the Rainy River. The author also applied very successfully the concept of Geographic Matters to draft the psychology of the character. This river is not only the boundary between the two countries but also the dividing line between one life and another. Especially, when Tim was on a boat that closes 20 yards from Canada. At this point, the psychology of the character was pushed to the climax. He had to make his own choice – going to Canada or back to home and go to the war in which he would kill someone or maybe die. The author described in detail from the psychology of the character to the physical reaction of his body “there's a hard squeezing pressure in your chest” (Tim O’Brien).

Sweetheart of Song Tra Bong is a story about Mary Anne and her transformation – the way she lost the innocent. In order to lead the story from an innocent, pure girl and how she lost that innocence to become a completely different person, the author needs a clue in which readers can dimly realize "There is going to be a change.". Indeed, the author used method It’s More Than Just Rain or Snow in How to Read Literature Like a Professor of Thomas Foster to do that. Readers can recognize that through Eddie Diamond’s sentence: “There's the scary part. I promise you, this girl will most definitely learn.”. It is not just an ordinary saying or a pointless statement. The sentence implies a warning to Marry Anne about the war where there is only blood and hostility; it is not the place for Marry Anne. In addition, Eddie’s sentence is like a writer's revelation that Marry is going to change from what she “learns”. That’s right, Marry has changed; she changed completely when she met a squad of six Green Berets in the way no one can imagine and imagine even Mark Fossie – her fiancé. She totally lost her original innocent in the first days when she just came. Instead, she became a completely different person and very dangerous. Readers can recognize through the transformation of her eyes or the image of “necklace of human tongues” at her throat. The event of meeting the Greenies is like a hyphen to compare Marry before and after the meeting. The writer applied well the concept If She Comes Up, It’s Baptism of Foster’s text through this detail. It raises the curiosity of readers. They may be curious what the story actually happens if it doesn’t have that even. In this story, readers may ask the question “What if Marry had never met the Greenies?”. I think most readers will have the same thinking that Marry will then witness blood and death scenes. The girl will fall into panic and depression. And what comes will come, the girl will insist on returning home and leaving the battlefield where she really does not belong.


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