Catfish and Mandala: A Two-wheeled Voyage Through the Landscape and Memory of Vietnam Themes

Andrew X. Pham
This Study Guide consists of approximately 34 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Catfish and Mandala.
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Caught Between Cultures

This book's principal theme was the sense of abandonment or being cut adrift that can accompany permanent relocation from one's home country to a completely different culture. The author's main problem in the book was that he felt as if he no longer belonged in Vietnam, yet did not feel entirely comfortable in America. This problem was worsened by the effects of the Vietnam War. In its aftermath, living conditions for former South Vietnamese in the unified Vietnam were generally not good. On Andrew's bicycle trip through the country, he was frequently dismayed by the poverty of the people. Their neediness seemed to him to have caused them to prostitute themselves in various ways, sometimes literally, and sometimes only in terms of their dignity. He often felt reviled by them, and was ashamed of his revulsion. For their part, the Vietnamese often regarded Andrew as a...

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This section contains 885 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Catfish and Mandala: A Two-wheeled Voyage Through the Landscape and Memory of Vietnam Study Guide
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