Vietnam War Trauma of Mixed-Blood Bourgeois Vietnamese in Kien Nguyen’s The Unwanted

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Jirawut Kitkarul


           This article aims to study forms and functions of the traumatic narrative of Vietnam war experienced by mixed-blood bourgeois Vietnamese in Kien Nguyen’s The Unwanted through close reading and Cathy Caruth’s concept of trauma. The results are as follows. The alienation of mixed-blood bourgeois Vietnamese begins during the war but becomes apparent when the war has ended. Mixed-blood bourgeois Vietnamese are not wanted because the society after the 1975 reunification has become extremely nationalist and communist. People hate capitalism and other races. The property of the mother of the narrator is confiscated; she is also humiliated in public. The narrator is physically attacked by his cousin, raped by his stepfather, and neglected by government officials. Other mixed-blood people are at risk of becoming victims of violence. Events are chronologically presented in order to illustrate the degrading social status of the narrator in Vietnam. Metaphors are used to highlight issues on bourgeoisie and mixed blood. The author writes this book to heal himself, to defend that he is not a traitor, and to construct himself as a displaced Vietnamese.

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Jirawut Kitkarul, ภาควิชาวรรณคดี คณะมนุษยศาสตร์ มหาวิทยาลัยเกษตรศาสตร์

ภาควิชาวรรณคดี คณะมนุษยศาสตร์ มหาวิทยาลัยเกษตรศาสตร์

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