7 September 2009
Thematic Effects on Novel without a Name
Novel without a name by Duong Thu Huong provided a real insight on war from the Vietnamese point of view. Readers are able to contemplate with the themes that reoccur, what the war truly is like, and the effects it causes on the people, society, and the individual. Three main reoccurring themes of this novel were disillusionment of the war, betrayal, and the loss of innocence that the war causes on a human being.
“How proud were we of our youth! Ten years ago the day we left for the front, I had never imagined this. All we had wanted was to be able to sing songs of glory. Who cared about mortars, machine guns, mines, bayonets, daggers? Anything was good for killing as long as it brought us glory. We pulled the trigger, we shot, we hacked away intoxicated with hatred, we demanded equality with our own hatred” (Huong72) Disillusionment of the war was evident throughout the whole novel; especially with the main character Quan. In the beginning of the war it is possible to say that Quan entered this war experience somewhat ignorant. He was this young kid ready to kill and fight for his country but in reality he was not even clearly aware of what they were fighting for. From the beginning to the end, ten years later, Quans interpretation of fighting this war drastically changes. From the quote it is made clear that a glory and pride was everything to him but at the end Quan no longer dreams of glory and heroics, rather the war has become for him a daily matter of survival, of finding food, and dodging bullets, all for a lie. During an epiphany scene with Veing Quan realizes something crucial to his disillusionment of the war. In this quote Quan came across Vieng and after her begging
him be intimate with her, he refuses and this is why. “I had been afraid to face myself, scared of the truth. I was a coward. Ten years went by, I had...