Sweetheart Of The Song Tra Bong Essay

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The platoon’s medic. Kiley previously served in the mountains of Chu Lai, the setting of “Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong.” O’Brien has great respect for Kiley’s medical prowess, especially when he is shot for a second time and is subjected to the mistreatment of another medic, Bobby Jorgenson. Though levelheaded and kind, Kiley eventually succumbs to the stresses of the war and his role in it—he purposely blows off his toe so that he is forced to leave his post. The platoon’s medic, Rat has a reputation for embellishing his stories. O’Brien writes that you need to take the square root of Rat’s claims, and that would probably be close to the truth. He writes a tender letter home to Curt’s sister and is heartbroken when she doesn’t bother to reply. Although the platoon trusts him as their medic, he seems to be somewhat unstable mentally. After his friend Curt Lemon is killed, he systematically mutilates a water buffalo with his rifle. Towards the end of the novel, he comes unglued after a series of night marches and shoots himself in the foot to get out of the war. Surprisingly, the rest of the platoon seems to understand what he’s going through. Everybody, and we mean everybody, knows a guy like Rat. First of all, Rat's real name is Bob, but everybody calls him Rat. He's the guy who…show more content…
Rat's the medic, so he carries all the stuff that medics are supposed to carry, plus comic books and M&Ms – you know, "for especially bad wounds" (The Things They Carried.9). When Tim is shot the first time, Rat is great. He dresses Tim's wound, gets Tim out of danger, then pops back to the battle. He then comes back to check on Tim four times, cracking jokes and making Tim feel better. Rat flips out eventually, though; we knew from the beginning, when Tim the Writer tells us about the stigma of shooting your toe or finger off to get out of battle, that one of the characters would take that route. We were just sad that it turned out to be
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