During this chapter nothing really happens just alot of poverty.



The first major theme of the chapter is community, which is the coming together of individuals to assist one another. This theme is represented through how Miss Buk takes Anh’s family under her wing ‘after Dad helped her carry a bag of potting mix one day, she became [their] friend’. Miss Buk helps Anh’s family with things such as paperwork so that they can ‘find [their] feet in this exciting new world’. Do suggests that community plays a major role in contemporary society as it keeps people together when they are struggling.


The next major theme in the chapter is empathy, which is knowing what someone else is experiencing or feeling their emotions. The theme is shown through Anh’s mother’s reaction to how Miss Buk’s family ‘who only lived on the other side of Sydney, could let their mother be so sad and lonely’. Anh’s mother feels more empathy towards Miss Buk as her own mother is ‘a long way away in Vietnam’ and doesn’t know why Miss Buk’s children wouldn’t visit her. Do is suggesting that empathy keeps society running as it helps people understand each other, which is important in keeping people together.


Being an outsider is the last major theme of the chapter. An outsider is a person who doesn’t fit in with everyone else because of where they came from, how they act or what they believe in. Anh’s family are all outsiders because they came from Vietnam and have a hard time conforming to Australian society. An example of this would be Khoa in his school uniform which was altered by his mother so he often ‘looked a bit odd and so people often stared at him’ because of his outsider appearance. The theme of being an outsider can link into community and empathy as outsiders often band together as they know each other’s struggles, this occurs in both real life and the novel when Anh’s family take in other refugees.


Throughout chapter it follows the characters of ‘The happiest refugee’ and their story of settling in to Australia. Within in this Anhs mother’s attitude is described as ‘look after those less fortunate’. This perspective from a son of his mother is one that really let's you see what she is like as a person even away from public an in their home. She had come to a country that her and Anh’s dad had constantly considered ‘a great country’. Anh's mother is a strong woman in his eyes and a caring one, she taught through herself morals and kindness to her children. She would have little punishment upon her children and take in people who needed a place to stay. When Anh and Khoa are confronted by their Aunty, Anh's mother doesn't even question them, immediately she knows that Anh and Khoa would have nothing to do with it and defends them. When people come to her for help willing without question she lends a hand or even a bed.

Anh obviously playing key within the novel is heavily influenced by his father and father figures. You see throughout the chapter of how he developed through his father and uncles. When Anh is in a situation in the school yard it's his fathers words ‘you can do anything’ and when the chance to become school captain come up its his dad he wants to make proud and its uncle six who helps him write his speech. You see how Anh developes throughout his primary school years ,how his ideals and morals are developed.

Anh's father is depicted very clearly through Anh's eyes, and it differs strongly from the prologue perspective. Anh's sees as his father as someone to look up to, a strong, determined, loving, intelligent and compassionate. Anh's father observes how his wife is making clothes for business to sell on to the big stores, and puts two and two together and decides to start helping and cut out the middle man. It's this iniative that Anh loved about his father. Eventually they bought the factory and gave all their family(brothers,sisters) jobs. When Anh receives the maths award at the end of yr6 his father gives him a standing ovation.

Key Quote

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Analysis Questions

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