Writers always have a reason or purpose for writing stories. “The Happiest Refugee”, written by Anh Do, is a memoir describing his family’s journey from Vietnam to Australia, heartbreaking struggles in his life, and how he became such a well-known comedian. He uses comedy to lighten serious issues and shows the best of his life living in a dominant white society. He makes readers more aware of Vietnamese refugees, how they are not taking this country for granted, and breaks the dominant stereotypes. He also uses this book to get more public appearance.
The most important reasons why Anh Do wrote this book was to make others aware of refugees and what they go through to get to Australia. The first chapter is of his family (three generations) on a small boat, travelling from Vietnam to Australia. It describes their encounter with the pirates, who took anything valuable and left everyone traumatised. This chapter of the book lets people understand that refugees do not come to Australia as easily as everyone thinks they do.
Anh Do wrote this memoir to show people that refugees are not here to rip off the country. The dominant way of thinking is that these people are here to take our jobs and our money. He challenges this idea by consistently repeating his mother’s words “give back to this country that gave us a second chance”. This shows that they were grateful for Australia’s help and wanted to repay it. This book gets readers thinking why refugees actually do come to Australia and finding out how they cope here.
Showing the difficulty that refugees go through once they reach Australia is a key reason why he wrote this memoir. After leaving nearly everything behind them, when refugees enter Australia, they begin a new life. Anh Do’s family was very poor when they first arrived in Australia, but they worked so hard to survive and save up for things they really wanted. Sometimes, it would all go to waste. After saving up for ages to buy a sewing...
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