The Eaves of Heaven was written by Andrew X. Pham and was first released in 2008. According to Steinnglass (2008) unlike his first book, Cat Fish and Mandala, which told Pham’s story from his childhood to his immigration into America, to his return to Vietnam in the 1990’s, the Eaves of Heaven focuses on telling the Vietnam story of Pham’s family from his father, Thong Van ham’s perspective. In essence, Pham tells of his father’s own experiences in a solid and balanced nature. Generally, the book focuses on what Pham calls “three wars”, referring to the French colonization of Indochina, Japan’s invasion during World War II, and the Vietnam War. In this regard, Pham, through his father’s own voice, manages to uniquely capture the entire progression of Vietnam throughout the 20h century. It is the story of one man’s heartbreaks, reversal of fortunes and resilience throughout the length of the three wars. To a great extent, the title of the book intrinsically captures the alternation of good and bad times and experiences for Thong Van Pham. This paper argues that the Eaves of Heaven reveals that war corrodes civil life and brings strife, by showing the tribulations endured by Thong’s family during the three war period.
The Impact of the Three Wars
In order to understand the progression of the three wars, it is necessary to construct the imagery from the perspective of how Thong Van Pham’s family faired during the French colonial period. Whether or not colonization brought good tidings for the Pham’s is matter of debate. However, according to Pham (2008), the family of his father was one of the feudal aristocracies that owned land in the Red River Delta, which f...
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...in the narrative of the Viet Cong ambush that kills almost everyone in Thongs auxiliary unit, talking him prisoner. According to Takami (2008), the end of the Vietnam War is signified by the fall of Saigon, which results in Thong and his family becoming refugees.
There can be no arguing that war corrodes civil life. This destruction is holistically captured by Pham in his novel, where the tribulations of his father throughout the three wars are depicted. From a prosperous feudal aristocratic background, Thong’s family is reduced to rubbles and poverty as they are forced to migrate from their village to Hanoi, and later to Saigon. The Japanese invasion results in the death of two million people through starvation, while the fall of Saigon, which is greatly depicted in the book, results in over two million refugees, the Thong family included (Takami, 2008).
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