December 3, 2015
Sadness and Tragedy in Antigone and The Things They Carried
Tinged with sadness and tragedy, both Antigone by Sophocles and The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien show reactions of characters to tragedies. These great moments of sadness in both books reveal the inner traits of many characters. In Antigone, Antigone reacts to her tragic life. In The Things They Carried, supporting character Mary Anne Bell reacts to the tragedy of war. The way the aforementioned characters acted after these events affirms their real identity.
A large part of background needed to understand Antigone can be found in Oedipus Rex. In Antigone, the main ...view middle of the document...
Antigone is very angered when Ismene tries to take credit for the burial after the fact, as she did not want to help Antigone until she realized it would make her look bad. Antigone also reveals another personality trait, cowardice. While she stands up for her family and her own right to bury her brother, she eventually chooses to kill herself.
In The Things They Carried, narrator Tim O’Brien tells his readers his personal stories of the Vietnam War. Greatly affected by the war, O’Brien explains that writing helped him to move past the pain he felt. A very interesting chapter in O’Brien’s book, “Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong” tells the story of Mary Anne Bell, the sweet and innocent girlfriend of Mark Fossie, another American soldier in Vietnam.
Eddie Diamond, the highest ranking man in Fossie’s company jokes that the area they were stationed near the Song Tra Bong river was so unguarded and safe that anyone could bring a girl to camp. Fossie then writes a letter to his girlfriend back home and six weeks later she shows up. For the next two weeks, Mark Fossie and Mary Anne Bell carry on like husband and wife. Mary Anne is a very fast learner and starts to tend to the casualties that come into the base, learning how to repair wounds and give shots. She eventually cuts her long hair short and stops wearing her pink sweaters and tennis skirts. Mark suggests a few times that Mary Anne think about heading home, but she...