Paradise of the Blind

1518 words 7 pages
Work in Translation
Paradise of the Blind by Duong Thu Huong
Final Draft

Name: Chung Yee, Lee
Candidate number: 003072-225
Year 11
Teacher: Ms Jennifer Russel
Word Count: 1477

Work in Translation
Paradise of the Blind by Duong Thu Huong

In the novel, Paradise of the Blind, written by Duong Thu Huong originally in Vietnamese and translated into English by Phan Huy Duong and Nina Mcpherson, the author constructs characters Aunt Tam and Uncle Chinh as analogs of conflicting political ideologies of 20th century Vietnam in order to display her opinions on its effectiveness in attaining proclaimed paradise. The characters are constructed to differently express the author’s voice towards extremist ideologies, Uncle Chinh
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The authorial intent was to negatively commentate on the static beliefs of Vietnamese citizens towards other ideologies such as capitalism. “I didn’t know why, but there was something sinister about all this finery, like throwing flower petals on an abandoned grave” (page 88, Hang). The author uses simile to represent her view on materialism, as Hang describes the experience of receiving lavish gold earrings from her Aunt Tam as being “sinister”. The author places negative connotations on the golden earrings to represent one of the cons in pursuing capitalism, as an over emphasis on greed and materialistic items.
The author uses Aunt Tam to represent also the results of capitalist successes. “In fact to live like you do is really happiness. The whole village dreams of having these…calm peaceful days far from all the sound and fury.” (Page 152, Vice President Duong) Juxtaposing the misery imposed upon most peasantry in the 20th century whom glorified the communist ideologies, the capitalist, Aunt Tam, had received the most successes in providing herself stability and living the “dreams” of the villagers by. Duong had constructed the irony in the differing successes of capitalist and communist ideologies to inform the reader of the possible to propose the reason to their misery as the reliance towards the communist ideology. She prompts the readers to ponder upon aspects in the capitalist ideologies that might promote their yearning for happiness. “…this


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