First They Killed My Father Setting & Symbolism

Ung, Loung
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Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh is the setting of the first chapter of the book and continues to loom large in the memory of the narrator throughout the book. More than just a home city, Phnom Penh is transformed in Loung's mind into a safe haven and a kind of lost paradise, a place where freedom, stability, familial love, and all sorts of material joys existed prior to the Khmer Rouge's invasion. Loung thinks of Phnom Penh often, particularly in moments when her life seems extremely difficult and she cannot seem to believe that she is the same girl now as she was when she was playing in the street in Phnom Penh. The contrast between leisure and work, wealth and poverty, family time and separation all serve to emphasize the liberties that Loung had taken for granted earlier in Phnom Penh. The city becomes a symbol of the...

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This section contains 1,683 words
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Buy the First They Killed My Father Study Guide
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