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History and Political Science: Vietnam History - Essay Example

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History and Political Science VIETNAM HISTORY Introduction In the epic novel A Time Far Past, 1986 written by Le Luu, the story presents a wide narrative of war and peace in northern Viet Nam from the early 1950s when Vietnam defeated France in its fight against colonialism, extending to the mid-1980s…
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Download file to see previous pages Sai has two failed marriages during which he attempts to compromise with his responsibilities, his past and his future. A Time Far Past is a complex narrative of marriage alliances, personal debts, and human relationships. The intricate layers of family and village history, as well as Party and feudal authority are assessed in depth. The novel dramatically depicts the extensive disruptions in Vietnamese culture caused by the political and military turmoil of the Indochina wars. The author concludes the narrative with both Sai and Vietnamese socialism at an unresolved, uncertain juncture1. Thesis Statement: The purpose of this paper is to investigate who is the enemy from the Vietnamese side in A Time Far Past by Le Luu. It will be argued that the main enemy of Vietnam is its ideology of socialism which emphasizes on prioritzing the best interests of the family, community and country instead of allowing citizens the freedom to pursue personal choices in love and marriage. Vietnam’s Enemy in “A Time Far Past” by Le Luu During the entire time-span of the novel, the communist government of Vietnam promoted socialism as a way of life, even imposing socialist love as the required course of action towards betrothal and marriage. Thus, in the narrative, socialist love governed by the state is characterised by the advocation of collectivism instead of individualism as seen in the state’s imposition of responsibilities that Sai has to fulfill to his family and community, instead of having personal freedom to marry by choice. The time of the novel’s publication in 1986 coincided with the government’s introduction of the new policy of Renovation or Doi Moi introduced2, towards developing happy, strong and prosperous families. This necessitated people’s shifting their focus from building the nation, to an emphasis on one’s family and oneself for the nation’s economic benefit. In A Time Far Past, it is evident that the Vietnamese government’s revolutionary and socialist ideologies ensure the inclusion of love and marriage in its governing agendas, which enforce the citizens’ contribution to the country’s progress. In his novel, Le Luu portrays how the state acts against the citizen’s best interests, and betrays him. The story was one of the first postwar novels to be published that did not comply with governmental rules on literary creations. The main protagonist Sai characterises his determined pursuit of personal happiness, and failure to achieve his individual desire. At the age of ten he is compelled to marry a thirteen-year-old rustic girl named Tuyet from a politically influential family, to whom he becomes indifferent, and who does not appeal to him. The alliance is created to help Sai’s family to move upward socially, and help Sai join the Viet Minh Communist Party. He is unable to tell his elders about his desire to marry Huong, a schoolmate he loves deeply. To distance himself from his unbearable situation, and not due to feelings of patriotism, Sai enrolls in the army. “He left as if sneaking away, as if fleeing from yesterday, today and tomorrow, as if he were smugly satisfied with his ‘courageous’ decision to endure in silence”3. His seniors advise him that as a condition for joining the Party, he had to return to his wife and be faithful to her; and he complies with their orders4. After bearing his child, Tuyen continues to love Sai, and tolerates his lack of interest. To put her husband out of his ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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