Objects & Places from The Sympathizer

Viet Thanh Nguyen
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This object is carried by the narrator throughout the novel. It has a hidden compartment where he keeps a book used in coding letters to his communist contact.

Red Envelopes

These items are traditionally given on New Year's containing money to symbolize prosperity.


This object on the movie set of The Hamlet comes to represent the narrator's mother to him.

Ao dai

This traditional Vietnamese clothing is what the narrator recalls Lana wearing when she was young and still in Vietnam.

Republic of Vietnam Flag

This object is displayed in the General's restaurant.

Two-Headed Baby in a Jar

This object sits on the desk of the commandant and symbolizes the atrocities that the Americans committed in the war.


This is what the narrative of the book is comprised of. The narrator is forced to create this object for the commandant.

The Fall of Saigon


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