Paradise of the Blind

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Work in Translation
Paradise of the Blind by Duong Thu Huong
Final Draft

Name: Chung Yee, Lee
Candidate number: 003072-225
Year 11
QASMT
Teacher: Ms Jennifer Russel
Word Count: 1477

Work in Translation
Paradise of the Blind by Duong Thu Huong

In the novel, Paradise of the Blind, written by Duong Thu Huong originally in Vietnamese and translated into English by Phan Huy Duong and Nina Mcpherson, the author constructs characters Aunt Tam and Uncle Chinh as analogs of conflicting political ideologies of 20th century Vietnam in order to display her opinions on its effectiveness in attaining proclaimed paradise. The characters are constructed to differently express the author’s voice towards extremist ideologies, Uncle Chinh representing the communist ideology, and Aunt Tam representing the capitalist ideologies.

Uncle Chinh, within the novel, has been classified as an epitome of communism, and primarily constructed as a authoritative figure with an antagonistic nature. “He was intoxicated with himself. His satisfaction was that of a creeping parasitic vine.” (Hang, page 26). Duong demonstrates her opinion towards Uncle Chinh’s power lust through the diction within the phrase “intoxicated” and “parasitic vine”, providing her criticism towards his nature. His contribution towards the communist ideologies reasoned with its potential to elevate him towards a higher position in the party, which was provisional towards his characterised greedy nature.
The hypocrisy within the execution of the communist ideology could be represented within Uncle Chinh’s actions of greed and power lust within the play, which defies the moneyless and classless movement of communism. Manipulation of Que, Uncle Chinh’s kin sister within the novel represented his power lust. “You realise that you’re sabotaging my authority.” (Chinh, page 32). In order to represent the hypocrisy of Uncle Chinh, the author had utilised the relationship between Uncle Chinh and his sister,

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