Analysis and Interpretation of Crickets
In the short story Crickets by Robert Olen Butler, we are introduced to the main character of the short story, Ted. Ted is not his real name, but a nickname that was given to him by his coworkers at the refinery where he works. He does not particularly like his nickname, but he does not hate it either. His real name is Thieu just like the former president of the Republic of Vietnam. He wasn’t named after the president though; his mother named him after his dead uncle. Thieu grew up in the Mekong Delta in Vietnam, but later fled to the U.S. He witnessed the fall of Saigon in 1975 – and that was when he decided to fight against the North. The north was communistic, and Thieu was throwing rocks at …show more content…
When they are out in the wild to catch these crickets his son’s Americanization shines through. He does not want to touch the crickets that he finds, like Thieu did when he was a child. So Thieu has to pick them up for him. And it only goes downhill from there. Bill worries more about getting his new Reebok sneakers dirty than having fun and playing with his father – and he only worries about if the mother can get them clean again. Thieu is obviously disappointed. He is not disappointed because of the sons lack of interest, but rather because he has not been able to give his own son some Vietnamese ballast, it seems like he has no idea where his parents are from or what they have gone through for him. It might be because he is only ten years old. The title Crickets represents the two types of crickets, charcoal and fire, which represents the two different civilization that Thieu and Bill are part of. Just like when Thieu was a child, his son and himself they keep crickets in matchboxes and kept them agitated by continuous poking and flicking. This resulted in them fighting each other to death. The charcoal crickets represent the U.S.: They’re large and strong, but can easily become confused – and he makes them appear rather unintelligent.
The fire crickets on the other hand represent Vietnam, or perhaps Asia in general. They’re not particularly strong or big like the charcoal crickets, but they’re