“The Happiest Refugee” – Anh Do.
English Communications 3 – Line 6
Teacher – Amanda Williams.
Renowned comedian, Anh Do’s award winning autobiography The Happiest Refugee is a heart-warming and touching journey that leads the audience through Do’s experiences from his early days as a child in Vietnam, to his successful career as an influential television personality and well know Australian stand-up comedian. Throughout the text, Do explores many ideas and issues linked to the concept of belonging which become apparent from his reminiscence of his families migration from war-torn Vietnam and the problems they encounter to his efforts to gain extra money to support his family after his father left. The Happiest Refugee is full of snapshots of memories Do holds close, each photo shows a challenge the family has overcome. It’s an inspirational tale of the power of perseverance, kindness and love.
The memoir frequently insists on the importance of family, with the idea a strong presence throughout the text. Besides Do himself, the most significant character in the book is Do’s mother, Hein, from whom he learns plenty of valuable life lessons that Do cherished and continued to follow as he and the book developed on. One of those lessons consists of Hein’s compassion and willingness to allow a female distant relative take refuge in their own house whilst she found a stable economic income. Financially struggling, Hein found it in her heart to take in this woman and her small child, provide them with a roof over their heads and nutritious food to eat. Even though they were underprivileged, by taking in these newcomers it made the family feel extremely fortunate “I learnt life experiences from a whole range of people, and it was an incredibly rich and varied form of wisdom that these passers-by gifted us with.” His father features less, absent from Do’s life for his teenage years. However he is a valuable part of Do’s life as...
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