The Things They Carried
by Tim O'Brien
Mark is just not too bright, we're sorry to say. He's so lovesick that he brings his childhood sweetheart over to Vietnam, and when she starts to change (as people do when they enter a war zone), he freaks out and orders her to marry him and return home. While Mary Anne's transformation is legitimately frightening, Mark does kind of embody the sexism that Rat complains about in "Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong." He thinks of his girlfriend as unchangeable, and therefore as not a real person.