Analysis Of The Novel 'Children At War'

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Did you know that every day several hundreds of people are forced out of their home causing them to become a refugee? The universal refugee experience of fleeing and finding a home is difficult since the refugee doesn’t know or understand the language that well and can sometimes be viewed as an outsider. According to the article, “Children at War” by Arthur Brice, Amela Kamenica a teen refugee is forced out of her home due to the war near her hometown. In the novel, Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai, the main character, Ha is treated like an outcast since she doesn’t know the American traditions and ways. Ha is a ten-year old girl, who has to flee Vietnam because of the war between North and South Vietnam. It is dangerous and unsafe…show more content…
Amela Kamenica wishes she could “stay there, watching the war, rather than be here safe, but without friends” (Brice 25). She wants to go back country, where she won’t be lonely. Shows how unhappy she is in her new home since she rather go back where her life could possibly threaten in the hazardous war. Ha, emotional feels, “fire, sourness, weight, anger, loneliness, confusion, embarrassment, and shame” (Lai 207-208) These powerful emotions all of a sudden overwhelm her. Primarily, Ha doesn’t fit in with her classmate and is treated like an outcast. Like many refugees when they enter a foreign country, they many not always be accepted by their peers. Furthermore, their lives turn “inside out” when they are rejected by their peers and feel sad that they are treated like an outsider. Ha wants to “choose wartime in Saigon over peacetime in Alabama” (Lai 195) Ha would want to stay in a dangerous place, where there are bombs and a possible chance of you dying than being in a calm place like Alabama. Home is like your comfort zone, and where you can relax and relate to people in your home town and feel like an insider. Because Ha doesn’t get the home/welcoming feeling in Alabama she decides she wants to go home. To conclude, Ha and Amela lives turn “inside out” when they want to go back home where it is dangerous, however, home has familiar faces.…show more content…
Ha describes the papaya that Miss Washington gave her is, “Not the same, but not bad at all” (Lai 234). Papaya represents home, hope, and that things are getting back to normal. Amela says, “Some people here don’t even know where Bosnia is but they’re really nice and try to help” (Brice 25). Although people are unaware of what is happening in her country, people are still kind to her and they try to help her. In addition, things for Amela is much easier and comforting since the people are nice to her, also they don’t judge her and put her down. Things are different from before, when “someone is always saving seats for Ha, Pem, and Steven; the huge cousin, who now not only smiles but waves at them” (Lai 229). Ha is making new friends and additionally, people are showing friendly gestures when waving and smiling them spots in the cafeteria. All in all, refugees lives turn “back again” when they adjust well and comfortably with the help of kind people. Ha begins to fit in and feels less of an outcast since she has
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