Duong Thu Huong: Summary

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For ten years Quan and his unit fight on the frontlines. Only 12 men are left alive at the end of the war. The book ends with the fall of south Vietnam and Quan’s unit takes a prisoner. The prisoner turns out to be an American journalist as U.S. armed forces had left 2 years earlier. All the stands between certain death and living for this prisoner is Quan. He realizes this person is not a foreign combatant but still is enraged because he views this person as a foreign invader. Quan fights off his pleading soldiers to kill him and instead even with low food supplies still spares his life and feeds him. As brutal as war is he still honored prisoner of war rules and turns him over to a higher unit. This shows both controlled hatred and compassion towards another human…show more content…
I believe that she may have written about actual places and people she saw or made a collection of stories from other soldiers to create this novel. I believe she also wanted to be extremely accurate in her descriptions to ensure the reader felt the sense of desperation that her and her people felt during that time. She uses her novels as a form of protesting the Vietnamese government so what she writes has to be accurate or it loses its effectiveness. The only thing in this book I found to be fiction was the story itself. Everything surrounding the story in book lines up with what was going on in that time period. Karolides quoted Huong saying “It is my mission to do so on behalf of those who have died under this shameful regime…I have to empty what is inside of me to keep my conscience clear. The people have lost the power to react, to reflect, to think. Perhaps I will give the people courage” (1) One cannot speak for other people if they do not speak or write the truth. For her government to imprison her and ban any published work of hers she is indeed doing something
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