Do starts off the chapter by telling us about his grandmother whom he and the some others called Ba Noi, which means paternal grandmother. Do tells us more about his grandmother like the facts she likes gardening, she didn't know english and she threw out papers which were not where they are supposed to be. Ba Noi also liked to sit with her Vb and sing karaoke, I would have rather chosen carlton draught but who am I to judge this awesome grandmother, when she astonishingly clocked Nintendo Duck hunt game twice while loosers like me sat stuck on 2nd level having the stupid hunting dog laughing at us while we missed every duck.
Turning away from his grandmother, Do speaks about his parents choosing high school for Anh and his brother. Finally they settled on St Aloysius which to me sounds like a name of the sauce served with spaghetti or something like that. No offense ment but it does!!! Well mayby a little bit of offense was ment. Anyway Anhs parents chose that school because of high grades and the fact that school teaches kids for older life. However because of high costs of the school Anhs parents would have to start working way harder to cover all the bills or the boys will have to get Sholarship to get there for free. The boys have a go at it but only win partial scholarships which would cover half the cost. Anhs parents were still very proud of their children and went to Mc Donald's to celebrate that. Yeah good job!! Do finishes the chapter with a bit of mystery but the reader knows that something bad is about to happen due to him saying " because things were about to turn for the worst". At least I got a bit concerned for the Anhs family. Lets hope nothing too bad will happen.
Now over to my collegue whom is writting the plot for chapter 6.
Character #1: Anh’s grandmother (Ba Noi)
Ba Noi is Anh’s dads mum and she lived with the Do family, she is an important part of Anh’s upbringing as most of the time it was her who looked after Anh and his brother while his parents were still working and so her influence on the boys is very prominent. She is significant in this chapter and throughout the book, as she is an idea and source of Anh’s personal identity as she is strong willed and very passionate to her family and she passes those traits onto Anh and his brother at a young age thus helping Anh find his identity through her love and influence. Ba Noi resembles the themes of love and family towards Anh and his brother and also shows cultural ethnics as she changes through the novel, not by much but she adapts a lot of her Australian life back into her Vietnamese culture, as an example she will be tending to her garden like she did back in Vietnam however when she comes indoors she “cracks open a can of VB and puts her feet up” this shows the changes of Ba Noi as she adapts to fit the Australian life but still keeps her cultural heritage.
Character #2: Tam (Anh’s father)
Tan is Anh’s father he is portrayed as a brave man and a leader as he is the one who sailed the boat from Vietnam to Malaysia, remaining calm even after the two pirate attacks and the loss of both engines. He was thought to be one of the strongest men and is very loving towards his family, he chose to move to Australia for his family so that he could give his children a better life, he is significant in chapter 5 as he is portrayed to be a loving father explaining that he “always had mammoth dreams for them [Anh and Khoa], but at the same time never put them under any pressure,” this suggests the influences Tam had on Anh which in the end helps him find out who he is and helps Anh find his personal identity and also shows that no matter what happens in Anh’s life his dad will continue to be proud of him for all of his work even if Anh fails. Along with resembling personal identity for Anh, Tam also resembles the importance of family and hope as he hoped he could give his boys a better upbringing then he received, risking everything for his family. Throughout the book the noble, loving man that was Tan changes into a man Anh later refers to as a “self destructive dickhead of an ex-dad” suggesting the idea that Tam as a person changes into a man Anh has lost respect for.
Character #3: Huy (Anh’s uncle)
Uncle Huy is a major role model in Anh’s life he is in training to become a Jesuit priest and is the second eldest brother on Anh’s mothers side, he is shown to be a good looking young man who is quite tall and brave as he used to be in the army. His significance in chapter 5 is prominent when the family are talking about schools to send the boys too, the main reason the Do family moved to Australia was so Anh and Khoa could have a better upbringing and Huy is said to be an “expert on schools” so he helped Hien (Anh’s mother) and Tam choose what school and suggested that they must send the boys to St Aloysius’ as it is the best academic school and also teaches its students how to live a great life. Huy portrayed the importance of family as he would sacrifice everything for his family alike Anh’s dad and this is reflective in Anh himself and adds to Anh’s personal identity. Throughout the novel Huy doesn’t change much he still remains the loving, brave and better looking uncle to Anh.
"Who cares is he does speeches like an illegal Mexican"
- some dude
1) How is Do’s description of his grandma on the opening page of chapter 5 significant?
2) Outsiders are a considerable theme within ‘The Happiest Refugee’ how is this idea explored within chapter 4 and 5.
3) Why do you think it is important that Anh’s family hosted a string of guests throughout his childhood?
4) What impact do you think Anh’s Dad had on Anh’s upbringing?
5) Find 5 quotes that demonstrate this idea?
6) The Happiest Refugee tells of Do’s formative years in a series of short anecdotes. In a similar style to ‘The Happiest Refugee’ write an anecdote that describes a significant memory from your childhood.