"If you believed the Greenies, Rat said, Mary Anne was still somewhere out there in the dark. Odd movements, odd shapes. Late at night, when the Greenies were out on ambush, the whole rain forest seemed to stare in at them—a watchted feeling—and a couple times they almost saw her sliding through the shadows. Not quite, but almost. 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."
- Page 110 from The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien.
This is my second favorite chapter in the novel. This chapter best illustrates that war can change anyone into anything if they let it. Mary Anne came to Vietnam all sweet and innocent, as many soldiers do, and eventually got sucked into the life of war. She brought over to spend time with her boyfriend, Mark Fossie. Mary Anne was your all American girl, beautiful and flirty, but also curious. When she first came over she wanted to explore the village and even learn about things on base, as illustrated on page 91 in the book. The men began to teach her things like how to assemble a gun and various medical things. It said when a wounded soldier would come in she would work on them with calm, steady hands; there was no fear or disgust there. The more she let herself into the war the more she wanted. She went from simple ambushes to daring stunts, to just disappearing for good. She became completely engulfed by the war and Vietnam itself, becoming a creature in the end.
This just illustrates how easily anyone could become a part of this black being. There were men who would come over and just end up needing it in the end. I believe we actually discussed this in class to where men would just not know what to do with themselves because they were programed to do such awful things and they did not understand how to come back to morality and sensibility. It just illustrates the idea that war can take people over and most of the time never let go of an individual. It illustrates that war can turn people in to creatures of death and destruction and once one gets a taste it can be hard to go back. Or at least that’s what I’ve gathered based on the ideas in the book and people I’ve known in my life..