"Only The Heart" - by Brian Caswell and David Phu An Chiem Character analysis "Linh"

Essay by silver_butterfly April 2004

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"Only the heart" is wonderful book written by Brian Caswell and David Phu An Chiem. This book paints an all so real picture of what it would be like in a Vietnamese refugee family. The book is set in character narrative, each chapter is told by a different voice. Although there were serval characters in this book, there were two main ones - Toan and Linh. I decided to do this character analysis on Linh, because out of all the characters, she was the most intriguing as well as inspiring to me.

Linh was part a Vietnamese family with a mother, father and sister. Her father Phat disappeared when she was young, her mother Mai was taken by pirates which left her sister Phuong, devastated. She was left to rely on her Aunty Hoa and cousins Hoang, Son and Toan, but particularly Toan for support.

Out of all the other children in this book, Linh had the most courage.

As it was mentioned on many occasions - she was tough. Linh was very emotionally strong, even from an early age. When she was strapped along with the other children, she did not cry. Not one tear. Even though to the children it seemed like they were being strapped for no reason.

Linh learned to be strong from her mother. When her father disappeared, her mother was withdrawn for three days, and then went on with her life after saying a prayer and lighting incense. Linh did not trust happiness. Her father was her support, someone who was always there. Then he disappeared. He was not as invincible as she thought. After, and maybe even before her father disappeared, she learned to be like her mother, and not let her emotions show. Phuong her sister was the opposite,