Paradise of the Blind Reflection
In class we have established that mist, smoke, and fog represent communism in the way that those caught up in it are engulfed and have no power over it. When one is trapped in fog they are helpless as they cannot fight it. All they can do is try and escape it or remain where they are inside it. When inside a communistic country one is similarly powerless to fight back. All the power is in the hands of a few and one can only remain subjected to their power or attempt to escape. However in the novel Paradise of the Blind the author, Duong Thu Huong, demonstrates that escape is not a permanent option because once the fog is too thick you are unable to see what direction you are headed. You can’t even tell if you’re heading deeper into the fog or towards relief. Similarly once communistic leaders gain enough power they can put procedures into place that will make it more difficult to escape. The boarding of the boat described at the end of Chapter Three symbolized the escape from communist ideals and the passengers represented the Vietnam escapees. Throughout pages 56 through 59 Vietnamese constantly call for the boatman to wait for them. The boatman said, “Get in quickly if you want to cross. This is the last run.” This showed how communism was coming quickly and escape was not a luxury that would remain much longer. Each time the boat prepared to leave someone called for it to wait and let them board. First was the woman with her basket of potatoes, then the traveling salesman with his suitcase. As the boat finally pulled out of the bay “a chill mist evaporated off the water” When the boat left another young woman called for the boatman to wait but it was too late as they were already underway. While she cried, “Boatman, ho boatman! ... curls of smoke fused with the clouds, erasing the horizon line.” She was too late to escape Communism and the ideals it brought with it. The Smoke had engulfed the “distant bank” throwing it into...
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