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Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War - Chapter 1 Summary & Analysis

Viet Thanh Nguyen
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Summary

Chapter One focuses on various Vietnamese communities and their memories of the war. Nguyen notes that Vietnam has a significant number of cemeteries for those killed during the war, which he refers to as “cities of the dead” (23). These range in size from small cemeteries in isolated villages to the Truong Song Martyrs Cemetery in Quang Tri. They honor not only war heroes, but icons of the Communist Party. To Nguyen, these cemeteries are a perfect example of the ethics of remembering one’s own. He notes that we have a natural affinity for those with whom we identify and cannot help but remember them through cemeteries and memorials. Simultaneously, we refuse to see their moral failings and view our own as virtuous and sacrificial. The author argues that we view our own as “round characters,” with fully formed psychologies, emotions, and motives. By...

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This section contains 1,128 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War Study Guide
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