Sunday, June 6, 2010

In Mai's eyes, the essential elements of Vietnamese culture are precariously placed and can easily be shaken by science and her new American ideals. And yet for her mother, who knows how to easily navigate monkey bridges, they seem as safe and sturdy as ever.


  1. I think you make a very good point. It is very true that Thanh knows exactly where she stands and who she is, while Mai has a tough time understanding how to place her Vietnamese self within the American culture. This reminds me of Mai saying she felt like an "outsider with insider information." I like the way you chose to incorporate the monkey bridge with some of the themes from the novel.

  2. I really like the parallel that you created with the Vietnamese ideals and the American ideals and how they function in reference to each other. Mai is put in a position in which she has to become a part of a culture that discredits her heritage.

  3. I really like this analogy, using the monkey bridge as a balancing beam to support the novel's main ideals. However, a question that can be raised pertains to how safe those ideals really are for Thanh. Isn't her foundation essentially being shaken to the core through her daughter taking to American culture instead of adopting Vietnamese ideals like Thanh would have preferred?