Stealing Buddha's Dinner Analysis

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Luisa Guzman Gomez In Bich Minh Nguyen’s memoir, Stealing Buddha’s Dinner, the author describes the conflict of being both an American and Vietnamese through the usage of food. Bich has to rise to the adversity of challenges within her family and her small town. Bich felt lonely regardless of the fact she was surrounded by individuals such as her friends or family, therefore, she focused on her academics and the salvation she found in books because she was able to connect with the characters. However, it is important to acknowledge that Bich was never alone, thereby, revealing, that there has always been someone who cares for her even if she believed she was an outcast.
Bich is the youngest daughter in her family. She has two older sisters,
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Since she believed she did not have anyone, she relied on her books creating connections with the characters. The books she read were rented from the public library. One of her favorite books is Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. The heroine Ramona Quimby whom Bich relates to has a similar cafeteria and neighbor experiences as her own from the type of food they bring from home. Bich explains,“I understood her dread of having the same dull after-school snack of juice and rye crisp the same way I understood her resentment toward pretty, blond-curled Willa Jean next door.” (page 152). Bich began to connect to characters relating to her own loneliness. Bich understood how the kids judge the type of lunch brought to school how it represents social status of mother figure taking care of their child. The food made for her was different from everyone else. In addition, how Bich relates to the envy of the protagonist character felt on her neighbor. Bich admits on how her salvation of loneliness was through the connection she had with characters, “For I had created, if somewhat unknowingly, a group of protagonist-girls I wished I could be” (page 161). All the characters Bich read throughout her childhood she was able to relate to their

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