Conflicts In Tuyen's What We All Long For

991 Words 4 Pages
The quote “Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you; they’re supposed to help you discover who you are,” applies very well to the novel, What We All Long For, because of the conflicts one of the characters, Tuyen, has to face in her life. In the novel, there are four characters—Tuyen, Jackie, Oku and Carla. Each of the individuals encounter different problems on their journey to becoming torontonians that blend in. They are all in in their mid-twenties with fluctuating degrees of self-sufficiency. As the children of moving parents, the characters attempt to absorb or translate into White Anglo-Saxon culture as their families' desires, yet in addition investigate methods for opposing the requests of both standard Canadian culture and …show more content…
She had accepted and normalised her sexuality and allowed it to make her into a unique person. The loss of her brother created a loss and longing for her parents but it failed to paralyse her, knowing that such a tragedy occurred to her family, she continues to be a robust aspiring artist that chooses to stay out of the topic of Quy. When her elder brother, Binh, had mentioned to her that he was going to Bangkok, Tuyen told him to stay out of things and help their parents forget instead of reminding them of the loss. “Stay out of things. Why don’t you let them forget instead of encouraging them, eh?” (Page 13.) Binh seems more affected by the loss than Tuyen because she also says “Just leave it alone, don’t go digging around and then it’ll be more disappointing for them.” (Page 13.) Tuyen doesn’t want her parents to suffer the emotional pain anymore, and she wants them to forget. She also wants to stay out and away from the pain that the loss of her brother brings along in the family. Tuyen becomes very much paralysed to the fact that her brother had gone missing during her family's escape from the Vietnamese …show more content…
She is in love with her best friend, Carla, a straight woman that always denies any possible intimacy between the two. Tuyen does not give up on loving Carla even though she gets rejected multiple times. Her other friend, Jackie, also points out that her love doesn’t notice her on page 49 “Don’t get your shorts in a twist honey, just because the love of your life, who doesn't notice you, by the way, is in shit.” Tuyen realises she has a point but continues to love Carla, making Tuyen, a powerful, devoted woman who wouldn’t give up on her love even though she has multiple conflicts in the way of them. Tuyen is committed woman who does not let rejection paralyze her. In fact, she allows it build a part of her that would forever be in love with Carla.
The other conflict Tuyen faces that solidifies her, is the loss of Quy. the tragedy had occured before she was born thus resulting in her shutting it out and avoiding it. Her siblings are hurt by it and her parents are still traumatized. They still hurt and her siblings try to help them, but Tuyen believes that it would be better for Binh, her brother, to stay out of it and let her parents heal over time eventually forget. Tuyen does not open up wounds by letting herself get involved with the topic and shuts it out so it does not destroy her the way it has her parents. *quote

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