Study Guide

Mark Fossie in The Things They Carried

By Tim O'Brien

Mark Fossie

Fossie 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, Fossie 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.