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Vietnam war stories comparison

1. Read Tim O'Brien's "Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong."
2. Visit the PBS website about the NEA's program called Operation Homecoming. This program encourages returning veterans to record their experiences when they come home from war. The website includes links to memoirs in the form of journals, letters, video diaries, animated clips, poetry, essays, etc.
o Explore these creations as you listen to, watch, and read these memoirs
o Look for the bar on the right called "Read Authors' Writings"
o Read the ten brief memoirs and poems and find one that seems to have a couple of interesting similarities or differences with O'Brien's story
o Look for just two or three similarities or differences so you have time and space to explore them in some detail
o Start writing first to find your thoughts through brainstorming, listing, or mapping
o Write a couple of body paragraphs to discover what you have to say
o Write an introduction that ends with a clear thesis that previews your coming points
o Revise your writing so that it supports the thesis (or revise the thesis so that it sets up the body paragraphs)
o Use a topic sentence at the beginning of each paragraph that introduces the topic of the paragraph and refers back to the thesis
4. Use MLA in-text citations and Works Cited entries. Follow this example for the online memoir:
McCary, John. "To the Fallen." Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience.

PBS. Apr. 2007. Web. 29 July 2010. [ change the second date to the date you accessed the website]
NOTE: Works Cited entries should be alphabetized, double-spaced, and indented with a hanging indent (in Word 2007, follow paragraph-->special-->hanging). .

Solution Preview

1. Read Tim O'Brien's "Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong." Various quotes from Web resources from this story - to use later in your response.

A motif found by one of my classes in 2001 depends on the oral tasting and swallowing metaphor. Mary Anne wears her necklace of tongues. Rat Kiley describes her as a person who has "tasted" the war as other civilians back home have not. Mary Anne says, "Sometimes I want to eat this place. Vietnam. I want to swallow the whole country -- the dirt, the death -- I just want to eat it and have it there inside me." For Mary Anne, coming to Vietnam irrevocably changed her. She found something in life she wanted to consume and in the end the country, the jungle, the war consumed her.
http://www.masconomet.org/teachers/trevenen/things.html#The Sweetheart of the Song Tra

"She had crossed to the other side. She was part of the land. She was wearing her culottes, her pink sweater, and a necklace of human tongues. She was dangerous. She was ready for the kill."

"There was a topmost scent of joss sticks and incense, like the fumes of some exotic smokehouse, but beneath the smoke lay a deeper and much more powerful stench. Impossible to describe, Rat said. It paralyzed your lungs. Thick and numbing, like an animal's den, a mix of blood and scorched hair and excrement and the sweet-sour odor of moldering flesh--the stink of the kill." (109-110)

"On a post at the rear of the hootch was the decayed head of a large black leopard; strips of yellow-brown skin dangled from the overhead rafters. And bones. Stacks of bones--all kinds." (110)

"Elongated and narrow, like pieces of blackened leather, the tongues were threaded along a length of copper wire, one overlapping the next, the tips curled upward as if caught in a final shrill syllable." (110-111)

2. Visit the PBS website about the NEA's program called Operation Homecoming. This program encourages returning veterans to record their experiences when they come home from war. The website includes links to memoirs in the form of journals, letters, video diaries, animated clips, poetry, essays, etc.
o Explore these creations as you listen to, watch, and read these memoirs
o Look for the bar on the right called "Read Authors' Writings"
o Read the ten brief memoirs and poems and find one that seems to have a couple of interesting similarities or differences with O'Brien's story

MEDEVAC MISSIONS
By U.S. Air Force Reserve Captain Ed Hrivnak
This one is also about a ...

Solution Summary

Discussion and analysis of two authors' Vietnam war stories, Tim O'Briens' Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong, and Hrivnal's Medivac Missions, for similarities and differences, themes, topic sentences and thesis statements, and a suggested model essay in five paragraph format, introduction, body and conclusion, with MLA citations.

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