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Crossing The Cultural Monkey Bridge Analysis

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Crossing the Cultural Monkey Bridge
The winds of war blow in many directions. From about 1955-1975, the prevailing winds of war were blowing in the orient (Windows on Asia). In Vietnam to be exact. The easternmost coastal country of the Indochina peninsula in Southeast Asia, was undergoing a civil war. The country was divided between the north, which was a communist and the south which was a democratic republic. Vietnam has a history of war. Civil wars, Invasions, colonization. Conflict in this region was nothing new. However, in war there are always casualties, casualties that die and the casualties that go on living. War has the power to destroy, create, manipulate and displace. “In a war there are many moments for compassion and
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As a way of finding meaning behind all the bloodshed and carnage that the Vietnamese went through, we see through the belief in Karma a way to understand and cope with the war. Sometimes people can cope better with a situation that is outside of their control by trying to understand the reason behind it. We are told that karma is the reason that the Vietnamese are suffering with the war as a sort of divine retribution against them for their people destroying the ancient city of Indrapura and the native inhabitants of the Indochina peninsula, known as the Cham (Cao, 55) (Windows on Asia). Based on the Confucian idea of the sanctity of the land we see that what was motivating many of the Vietnamese was a connection to the land (Cao, 83). The war was fought in the rice fields because it was a war fought for the soul of the country, and subsequently the soul of the individuals tied to that land/country (Cao, 172). Vietnam has a history of war and a history of defense. The Chinese, the Mongols, the French and the Americans are among the list of invaders, they have had to fend off since 111BC (Windows on Asia). This explains why they the Viet Kong were so successful: war is their tradition. A story of the cunning of the Vietnamese and their superstitious ways is shown in the method they used to ward off their…show more content…
This novel has a melancholic tone due to the nature of its content. It’s the story about the life of those affected by war. It’s no afternoon picnic. It’s real and mildly depressing. Depressing in a way that affords some passivity about the past. While this is a novel, it takes place in the real world and is based on real world events. It’s authentic. It achieves this authenticity through the portrayal of the Vietnamese culture, and the characters that are a product of that culture. The mythologies and traditional beliefs of a culture are what forms its base. This is the solid foundation upon which society is built and the individual emerges. Lan Cao constructs this foundation in an effort to extend a helping hand to the reader in an attempt to cross a cultural monkey bridge, from West to
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