1. Tim O’Brien’s various depictions of women range from the “Dumb Cooze” who doesn’t reply to Rat Kiley’s letter to the “Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong”. What overarching comment can you make about the women in this novel? In other words, how do the men perceive / construct the women in their lives? You must consider Mary Ann Bell ("Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong") in your analysis, as well as other women, but think about how Mary Ann actually fits into the pattern of the representation of women (that is, be careful about treating her as an exception).
2. Consider this text’s depiction of the Vietnamese wilderness. Clearly, because this novel is composed of a number of different stories / perspectives, we see this landscape through various soldiers’ points of view. What do these perspectives have in common regarding that Vietnamese wilderness? How do the soldiers connect that foreign landscape with the war itself?
3. Why, in this novel, is the act of listening so very important? Consider in your analysis the chapters "Speaking of Courage" and "How to Tell a True War Story," and other passages you deem relevant to proving your thesis.
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