Wednesday, December 1, 2010
The final chapter seems to alternate between two narratives every few paragraphs.
One narration takes place in America. The father preoccupies himself with various tasks in order to ignore the ringing phone. Ma works at a Vietnamese restaurant whose foreign cuisine is overpriced. Rumors that their daughter has become a writer on the East Coast have spread in their community.
The second narration takes place in Vietnam, twenty years ago. The body of the narrator's brother was pulled out of the South China Sea. It is said that he slipped and fell when attempting to jump from one boat to another. Ma's father brings the dead brother back home, where people tell him that his actions and the boy's body curse the home with bad water. Ba is currently fighting in the Vietnam War.
Important Elements of Chapter Five
Specific Quotations Regarding the Beginning & Ending:
Page 158: “Out from the darkness of the sea, wave after wave of small, luminous bodies washed to shore.”