Analysis and interpretation of Crickets
In the short story Crickets by Robert Olen Butler, we are introduced to the main character of the short story, Ted. Ted is not his real name, but a nickname that was given to him by his coworkers at the refinery where he works. He does not particularly like his nickname, but he does not hate it either. His real name is Thieu just like the former president of the Republic of Vietnam. He wasn’t named after the president though; his mother named him after his dead uncle.
Thieu grew up in the Mekong Delta in Vietnam, but later fled to the U.S. He witnessed the fall of Saigon in 1975 – and that was when he decided to fight against the North. The north was communistic, and Thieu was throwing rocks at the tanks driving through the streets of Saigon. Because of the situation in Vietnam, Thieu and his wife fled to the U.S. in hope of a better life. They ended up in Louisiana just like many other refugees from Vietnam. He works at the refinery and has been working there for more than a decade. He is considered the best chemical engineer of the refinery, even though he doesn’t always feel that his coworkers give him the right or appropriate amount of recognition, which he (in his own opinion) knows that he deserves. He likes his job at the refinery despite his coworkers giving him a American nickname and only using that. Thieu believes that it’s probably because they don’t like the fact that he is from Vietnam where American troops have just been fighting in a war against his fellow-countrymen. Thieu doesn’t believe in the values of the Northern regime, which is also his reason for fleeing to the U.S.
Thieu’s wife has, while living in America, given birth to their first and only son. The name of his son is perhaps the most non-Vietnamese name that they could find, Bill. Bill is ten years old, and is: “[…] the product of the first night my wife and I spent in Lake Charles, in a cheap motel with the sky outside red from the...
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