Paradise of the Blind Review

Good Essays
Using powerful imagery and an interesting way of storytelling, Paradise of the Blind describes the Vietnamese people's idealistic hope of Communism and how that hope was betrayed. The novel is well-written in many ways, simultaneously questioning the faults of life in modern-day Vietnam in a stubborn manner and telling a tragic tale of family conflict. The descriptions of everyday life are plentiful and illustrative in ways that help move the story along. Author Duong Thu Huong has framed the story well by presenting much of it as flashbacks within flashbacks, enabling her to movingly expose the intricate weaving of events entwined with Vietnam's troubled history as all of this affects the present. While the book discusses the political aspects of Vietnamese life, it is not merely composed of observations on communism; Huong comments much more on family loyalty and the collision between traditional customs and the fast-evolving modern world.
Much of Huong's novel could be placed in any other setting and still be able to present the same message. While the book gives insight into Vietnamese culture, the style of the book, and the portrayal of the narrator's mother and sister are all identifiable with basic human nature. The damage brought about by the land reform, which results in the death of Hang's father Ton, is that Hang grows up with deep feelings of solitude, and two families are permanently divided. Hang looks back on her childhood, having been made fun of by her neighbors for being the fatherless child, and feels humiliation and injustice. Growing up without a proper family, she lacks a sense of self-worth, comparing herself to "an anonymous weed [that] grows between the cracks of a wall." She feels constantly oppressed without reason, a sentiment that stays with her as she matures. Referring to her "dark circles of misery" under her eyes when she looks in the mirror, Hang makes the connection between her own experiences growing up and the same feelings in

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Better Essays

    Paradise of the Blind

    • 1526 Words
    • 7 Pages

    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…

    • 1526 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Paradise of the Blind

    • 404 Words
    • 2 Pages

    1Rishi Rishi Mr. Charles English Literature A1 (SL) 14 March 2012 Reflective statementth How was tour understanding of the cultural and contextual considerations of the work developed through the interactive oral? 'Paradise of the Blind' is a novel my vietnamese author 'Duong Thu Huong'. It is a very controversial novel as it highlight sensitive social issues about Vietnam. It is the first novel that gives us a vivid image of the sociological change that was taking place in Vietnam in that time…

    • 404 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    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…

    • 362 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Stephanie Crum Mrs. Swihart Period 7 16 January 2015 Paradise of the Blind Supervised Essay In the novel Paradise of the Blind by Duong Thu Huong, the author uses diction from the perspective of Hang to set the foundation of the novel as well as to establish the essential element of Hang’s journey through time and space in relation to her family. Motifs are vital in the novel to draw attention to certain aspects in order to bring out the emotional experiences of Hang’s journey along with her interactions…

    • 1058 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    In Huong’s Paradise of the Blind, Hang looks back on her tragic past that darkens her vision of her present. Reflecting on the past prevents her from living life to its fullest, and appreciating all of life’s joys. The narrative voice throughout the novel always carries a negative, sorrowful tone which can be explained by Hang’s transition from innocence as a child to maturity as a young adult. Hang has experienced many of the cruelties the world offers, and she has been forever tainted by her memories…

    • 842 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    1980s, Duong Thu Huong 's 'Paradise of the Blind ' narrates the life of a 20 years old Vietnamese lady, Hang, as she makes a long train ride to Moscow where she reflects on her childhood in Vietnam during the time of Communist reign. Throughout the novel, Huong conveys the story in the perspective of Hang using different motifs. Unquestionably, one such motif is the use food, which is recurrent and significant. In the two selected passages from Paradise of the Blind, Huong emphasizes that food,…

    • 1327 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Paradise of the Blind, by Duong Thu Huong, is written about a young woman’s journey and memories from her past and present in both Vietnam and Russia. The different cultures were discussed, along with different aspects of the context of the novel in order to help better understand the novel. Vietnam and Russia were both Communist states at the time period, both going through political tension. Huong shows these issues through Hang’s journeys in the novel. Vietnam was at a time of intense political…

    • 359 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    in several aspects, but they also share some aspects. For instance, while it is not forbidden to wear colored clothing to American funerals, most people do not wear it anyways. Instead, they wear black clothing. This presentation related to Paradise of the Blind because these philosophies spread to Vietnam. In Vietnam, the dead have altars in houses or offices. For example, Hang had an altar in her living room with her father’s photo on it. Later on in the story, Aunt Tam takes the photo of Tan from…

    • 300 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    Reflective Statement for Paradise of the Blind Through the interactive oral, my understanding of cultural and contextual consideration of Paradise of the Blind, written by Duong Thu Huong, is built upon the comparison of Vietnamese culture and western culture. To efficiently analyze Paradise of the Blind, I have to considered both western and eastern perspectives because the traditions and values are different or I can clarify which perspective I will look at the novel from. A classmate brought…

    • 381 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    the blind is a very interesting story. It narrates the journey of a man who discovered a valley where all the people were blind. The whole place was built according to the needs of the residents. They showed creativity and innovation despite their lack of sight. Although for the residents of the country of the blind, they don’t lack something. They treat themselves as normal people. It’s the traveler (Nunez) who is deviant – a fool, according to them. They are different from ordinary blind people…

    • 524 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays