Fleeting Power (Monkey Bridge) Essay

541 words - 2 pages

Lan Cao's, Monkey Bridge traverses perilously between worlds past and present, East and West. It is told through two interlocked stories of a Vietnamese mother and daughter who immigrated to America to seek refuge from their ever-changing and increasingly dangerous native land. Through their combined life experiences and quandaries one can much better understand the tragedy of the Vietnam War and relate to the Vietnamese on a more personable level.The story disclosed by the daughter was a classic immigrant experience of a young child being aborted to America, leaving behind all she had ever known, including her family, friends, and a secure home. Fleeing her overwhelmingly distressed nation caused her to lose almost everything, but left her with the haunting memories of war and separation. These unpleasant memories imparted several lasting reservations that she has tried relentlessly to overcome.Mai Nguyen was a young girl of only seven or eight years when she arrived in the "˜land of the free,' but had already been exposed to much more than the average girl of her age."A scattering of gun shots tore through the plaster walls. Everything was unfurling, everything, and I knew I was back there again, as if the tears were always pooled in readiness beneath my eyes. It was all coming back, a fury of whiteness rushing against my head with a violent percussive rage. (1) "I knew I was not in Saigon. I was not a hospital volunteer." (2) Unfortunately, experience meant little for a young girl in a foreign land.Mai's mother story was of betrayal, political intrigue, family secrets, and revenge. Compiled among these...

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