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Coincidence: Lodge’s Idea’s Applied to Paradise of the Blind

According to Lodge’s chapter Coincidence, an author’s use of coincidence in their work is absolutely necessary. Without some type of coincidence, the work itself would seem dull and uninteresting, but also using too much coincidence could ruin the work all together. The author has to be able to make the coincidence believable and relatable for the reader while also not taking it too far. The best way for an author’s work to be successful is to insert coincidences that not only make sense, but are subtle and powerful at the same time.

One example of coincidence in Duong Thu Huong’s Paradise of the Blind is in Chapter 4 when Hang’s father stumbles across a traveling salesman who knows Hang’s mother and goes to visit her in her village, and that is where Hang is conceived. Duong Thu Huong’s use of this very important coincidence is what makes the main character’s development so interesting. Because of the author’s use of this vital information, Hang’s character continued her search for answers and secrets that have been kept from her all her life as well as kept the reader interested in the storyline.

The theme of the story is able to develop and continue while Hang’s mother tells her daughter the story of how she came to be. During Hang’s mothers’ recollection of the reunion with Hang’s father, the theme of the whole story develops as the reader sees how Hang reacts to the news and how much it’s effected her mother.

Lodge’s chapter about coincidence ties in perfectly with Paradise of the Blind. Although there aren’t a lot of coincidences in this work, the one coincidence that changed the entire storyline was the one that impacted the main characters development the most. Hang’s constant desire to find out then secret of her father was finally revealed and without her father coincidentally stumbling into the traveling salesman, Hang would never have been conceived, and thus would never exist. Duong Thu Huong’s use of that key information was what made the coincidence exactly what a coincidence should be, “an imitation of life’s randomness.” -Lodge

1 Comment

  1. rawan_n says:

    I enjoyed reading your blogpost! Another example of coincidence in this novel came to my mind as I was reading. I believe it was very coincidental for Que to fall in love with a man who’s family was part of the landowning class while her brother was a big supporter of the communist party. This resulted in the separation of Que from the man she loved and Hang’s fatherless childhood. I consider this as the foundation for the rest of the story. Once again, great job!

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