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In the story, the reader encounters Thuc on page 67. A patron of the brothel in which Kieu finds herself trapped in, the character also serves as a classic example of those well-bred men, who have flourishing businesses, have their own wives, and have secret affairs. Learning of the beauty of Kieu, Thuc Ky Tham, despite his attachment to his wife, Miss Hoan, he attempts to fall in love with her. The attraction remains purely sexual initially. However, the relationship deepens to involve music, poetry and chess (De Anza, n.p). When Thuc wins Kieu over, despite her protestations for the sake of acting responsible, it shows Thuc’s strength and his passion for something he badly wants. His passion again is illustrated during the scene in the court, when his pain becomes evident at the prospect of losing Kieu and watching her being beaten. Till this point, it is quite evident that Thuc Ky Tham is quite strong. However, his weakness is illustrated when Thuc rekindles his relationship with his first wife, Miss Hoan. The particular line “Why should I squeal when no one is sticking me” (p.83) is particularly interesting. His weakness shines through this musing, because he wants to enjoy both the women, yet hide the truth from his first wife, even though he had promised his second wife to tell Miss. In fact, this line shows a sharp contrast to Kieu’s strength, as exemplified by her dialogue “I shall endure the thunder of the law” (75). This shows that Kieu, herself is quite strong, while the man she is married to is not. In a way, they are ill suited for each other. After Miss Hoan has had Kieu captured, she also orders Kieu to play music for her and Thuc. In the meanwhile, Thuc remains quite helpless, which points to his weakness, as well (De Anza, n.p). However, at the same time, Thuc remains quite attracted to Kieu, again showing a man’s
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Even though I was a frail looking-girl, my heart was full of compassion for other children who are very sick. I assisted my grandmother by cleaning-up the bandages, spills, and whatever that was needed to be put away. I also developed my sense of empathy as I talked to the kids and shared secrets with them.
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