“The Disappeared” By Kim Echlin
Kim Echlin, the author of the book “The Disappeared”, recreates an 1800’s scene in which a girl named Anne Greves encounters a series of life changing cultural and geographic experiences in her pursuit of her lost love. Anne meets and falls in love with a man named Serey at a Jazz Club in Montreal. Serey is originally from Cambodia but was separated from his family during a war, and he later returns to Cambodia in order to reconnect with his family. Serey is compelled to return to Montreal; however he does not. After 11 years with no contact or any knowledge about where Serey may be, Anne searches for her first love. The places in which Anne approaches throughout her journey, impacted her as a person. The geographic details, social habits, customs, and traditions and rituals of Cambodia, all change Anne Greves as a person. Although the book is situated in Montreal, the majority of the story takes place in Cambodia. The area of land in Cambodia is larger than Anne was commonly familiar with in Montreal. The area of land in Cambodia was 181.040 sq km by the 1970’s ("Cambodia Flag", Cambodia National Flag, Flag of Cambodia, Meaning, Pictures). Furthermore, the weather conditions Anne faced had greatly differed from the usual Canadian weather. Cambodia affected the antagonist Anne Greves because it was new and had high disciplinary standards that she had to face and adjust to. Despite the hot weather, open-toed shoes and revealing cloths were not allowed in Cambodia. Anne is noted as saying "I remember the heat" (Echlin, 54). During a festival Anne encountered this norm as she observed the village women dressed in modest attire. Anne changed as a person because she was more self-aware of the way she dressed as a result of adapting to the social norms of Cambodia. The social norms in Cambodia changed Anne as a person because Cambodia requires citizens to maintain communications at a low level. This is proved by Cambodia’s obligation...
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