The Unwanted - This essay is about how the author manipulates the hidden aspects of his past from the neutral eyes of his readers.

Essay by daudau087College, UndergraduateB, February 2007

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In his memoir "The Unwanted", Kien Nguyen seems to develop an innocent figure, which digresses as the memoir unfolds. He appears to be the victim in several events that occurs throughout the memoir. How was Nguyen's memoir written to manipulate the hidden aspects of his past from the neutral eyes of his readers? By presenting himself as the victim, he masks the fact that he is in fact the victimizer.

Nguyen was born on May 12, 1967 in Nhatrang, South Vietnam. His mother, Khuon, was a successful capitalist, a glamorous banker, and civil engineer (Contemporary Authors Online). The family lived the life of a lavish socialite in a mansion in the city of Nhatrang (Contemporary Authors Online). Kien and his younger brother Jimmy are both Amerasians, but his half sister is pure blooded (106). Kien's father was an American civil engineer in Vietnam in 1967, and Jimmy's father was an American officer who stationed in Nhatrang during a tour of duty in 1971 (24).

Both of Kien and Jimmy's father left Vietnam after the war ended, leaving them a large amount of U.S. dollars (25).

In 1975, the communists took control over Vietnam causing many Vietnamese people to suffer (Encyclopedia of Modern Asia). Nguyen, along with his family members went to Saigon hoping to catch the last helicopter to leave the country (42); however, they were unable to get out of Saigon because the final helicopter was loaded with refugees and was departing off the roof of the US embassy building (43). When the family returns to Nhatrang, they were forced to move out of the mansion into a cramped place next to his aunt. He was relentlessly ridiculed by his cousins, who called him "half-breed," and kicked his puppy to death (116). Nguyen was also a victim...