Defamiliarization is a literary technique used to present something familiar as unfamiliar. By deviating from the conventional ways of representing reality it provokes thoughts and forces the reader to delve deeper into the meaning of what is being shown.
- Que- A gradual defamiliarization: At the start of the novel the relationship between Que and Hang is extremely close but as the book progresses a subtle rift begins to form and divide the two until at the end the relationship is almost unrecognizable from the beginning.
- Aunt Tam- Sudden defamiliarization:
Hang experiences certain intervals in which she looks at her aunt Tam and sees her as someone unfamiliar. It’s almost like she ages backwards and is seeing her aunt for the first time once again, but these moments are short-lived and usually afterwards she snaps back into reality.
- In the novel a situation as simple as relatives saying goodbye to their loved ones while crying tears of joy at an airport or train station is portrayed through Hangs eyes as grotesque and sad because it shows how any place other then where they are living is good.