First They Killed My Father is a highly emotional, moving account of the survival of a family - a family brought together through challenging times. The importance of family in the survival of Loung and her siblings throughout and beyond the Khmer Rouge years cannot be overstressed. Essential family values such as a mother's love for her children, obedience to caring father's advice and cooperation with each other through putting aside of differences all were important factors in the survival of Loung.
Tough times can either strengthen or destroy relationships. While Pa had excellent relationships with all his family members, the relationships among Loung and her siblings were greatly improved and strengthened through hard times. Hard times, such as the death of Keav, created an awareness of the family's need for each other and the importance of how they treated one another.
Relationships are often hindered by weaknesses and flaws in individuals which lead to arguments. This is also true of family relationships. However, in times of upheaval, when people have no choice but to turn to one another, the experience forces them to overlook weaknesses and flaws. We can observe this through the progression of Loung and Chou's relationship. Forced to put aside their differences, Loung and Chou are drawn closer together. (quote )Working together is another important aspect of family life portrayed in First They Killed My Father.
In order for relationships to move forward, sacrifice is often necessary. This may be in the form of helping others such as sharing, however often at one's own expense. The examples of Khouy and Meng providing leftovers for their family and the numerous sacrifices made by Pa, Ma and Kim for the good of the family are expressions of how much those in their family mattered to them. Loyalty
The power of family on one's life is shown through Loung's...