“Paradise of the Blind” is characterized by its cultural significance. Duong Thu Huong chooses her characters very deliberately. Every character that appears in, the protagonist, Hang’s life represents cultural pressures and cultural symbols. Since “Paradise of the Blind” is a bildungsroman, the characters that come and go within the novel itself all influence Hang. They change and alter the life of Hang based on the social pressures that are commonly seen in Vietnamese culture. Ultimately, by watching the lives of those around her and the role of traditions and cultures that playing their lives, Hang finds her individuality and her destiny at the end of the book when she has grown enough to differentiate and develop an opinion of her own.
One of the most prominent and emphasized character is Aunt Tam. Along with Que, Aunt Tam embodies the traditional Vietnamese women. With her dedication to her family, loyalty to her duties and her respectability, Aunt Tame gives the readers insight into the life of a woman in Vietnam. The cultural significance of her life is portrayed through the minor details that are used to represent her in the book. Aunt Tam is someone who sacrificed everything, and willingly, for the sake of her family name and her ancestors. By laboring intensely in the rice patties and slaving with work during her free time, Aunt Tame gained much respect for her family and herself. As a result, she was able to provide much luxury to her offerings to the ancestors. The people of the village recognize Aunt Tam to be the epitome of Vietnamese women. The attitudes towards Aunt Tame show how it was culturally expected and demanded that women remain loyal to their families. Although she sacrificed everything, including love, children and families to conduct and upheld her duties, nobody saw her struggles; instead, for all her work, she merely enjoyed the praises of people for not fouling the family name.
Another key figure within the novel that...
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