April 4th, 2011
Analysis of Aunt Tam
“These are precisely the people we must denounce and punish.” These words were said about Aunt Tam’s family. Aunt Tam is introduced as the sister of Hang’s father. Aunt Tam and Hang’s father grew up with not a lot of money. Hang’s mother’s side of the family, especially uncle Chinh who was the brother of Hang’s mother never accepted Hang’s father, Ton, and his sister, Aunt Tam. Uncle Chinh claimed that Ton and his family are landlords and they are the enemies of the peasantry, so Hang and her mother, Que, should have nothing to do with them even though Ton, was Hang’s father.
“Remember now: During the land reform, they cut this house into two. Bich took possession of one half, the other next to the temple. They left me only a few acres of wasteland: no buffalo, no cow, ...view middle of the document...
Aunt Tam treats Hang so well because she says that Hang is the last drop of blood from that side of the family. “You’re the last drop of blood in my family. The house, the altar to the ancestors, the rice paddies, the garden, I’m keeping them for you, do you understand?”(p87) Aunt Tam would always say this to her niece Hang and because Aunt Tam now has a lot of money she spoils Hang. “She pulled a wad of bills from her pocket. “This is for traveling. Rest a bit. The week before you leave for university, I’ll be sending someone to call for you. I’m inviting the family and the neighborhood to celebrate your success.”(p135) That is an example of how Aunt Tam would treat Hang, she would spoil her with food and money for every little success Hang would perform.
Even though Que’s brother killed Aunt Tam’s brother, she still loves Que like a sister. Since Aunt Tam has a lot of money and has the ability to please Hang as much as she wants even though Hang doesn’t want to be spoilt, it still affects Que as a mother because she is not able to give her daughter all the things Aunty Tam can. “Because my aunt Tam had taken me under her protection, and because my mother had already found another object for her affections, a kind of indifference had slipped into our relationship. I hadn’t expected this. How could she cease to be my mother?” Aunt Tam treated Hang so well, that Que started to get jealous because she couldn’t afford to treat Hang in the same way that Aunt Tam did.
Aunt Tam grew up working hard and earning a few pennies that she would have to save because she didn’t have any other money. As she grew older, she opened a successful business, gained back her house and everything else she lost. Because of this fortune she lived a very high life, with a servant to cook food for her and wash up dishes. She was also able to spoil her niece Hang with lots of money, food and festivities. Aunt Tam was a genuine person and had a big heart for her family.