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Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War - Chapter 9 Summary & Analysis

Viet Thanh Nguyen
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Summary

Chapter Nine opens with a discussion of Kipling’s famous poem “The White Man’s Burden.” Though Nguyen outright rejects Kipling’s pro-imperialist message, he acknowledges his wisdom in viewing enlightenment as something to be climbed up toward. Moral enlightenment, he suggests, is far too elusive to be descended to. His own process in writing this book, he concedes, is an exercise in climbing to this high ground. Simultaneously, he argues that we must also explore the low places of inhumanity. From a high perch, it impossible to see the ungrateful, unrepentant, and uncivilized. To demonstrate this, he compares genocide memorial sites in Cambodia to those in Germany. The German memorial sites, he states, are far more polished and detailed. Despite this, the sites in Cambodia are more emotionally powerful, precisely because they are unmanicured and unprocessed. The Germans, he suggests, have found beauty...

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This section contains 1,133 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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