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Coincidence in the Paradise of the Blind

According to Lodge’s essay the use of coincidence is necessary in ones work, because it helps shape the work making it more interesting. In order to create a great book/novel/story coincidence is essential. Although coincidence is substantial, there needs to be a balance in its use, excessive use of coincidence can ruin the work (Lodge, pg.150). And when creating a coincidence, it has to relate to the work and seem believable, as well as make sense and seems subtle yet powerful at the same time (lodge, pg.152).

Through out reading The Paradise of the blind you can find one coincidence in chapter 4, the story of Hang’s conception. When Hang’s father coincidently met a traveling salesman who knew Que, and led Hang’s father to visit Que. One can see the development of the story when the reader sees Hang’s reaction to the news when her mother told her, and how it effected her. The coincidence impacted Hang’s character development, it made Hang more intrigued in finding out answers and secrets that are kept from her. Huong’s use of Coincidence in The Paradise of the Blind is just as what Lodge said it should be. It wasn’t excessive, and it had a huge impact on the whole story, as well as played a role in character development and the theme of the story. But most importably It portrayed “an imitation of life’s randomness.” (Lodge, pg. 150) just as Lodge stated.

Even though there wasn’t many coincidences in The Paradise of the Blind, that one coincidence made that much of an impact. It contributed with the whole theme and the development of the characters. Proving Lodge’s points about coincidence, and showing its influence in a story, as well as the important role it plays.


6 Comments

  1. am33ners says:

    I realized how coincidence and irony were kind of similar in a sense after reading this blogpost. I also realized the impact one event of coincidence Hang experienced had on her character development. It contributed with the whole theme and the development of the characters

  2. mehrunh says:

    I agree that coincidence is utilized within the novel to show the development of characters! One coincidence I thought strange was towards the end of the book, when Hang recognized one of her former classmates who was being served by her Uncle Chinh. It is already a coincidence that Hang walks into the room to see Chinh in a feminine manner (with the slippers) which contrasts his behavior in previous chapters of the novel. Yet, it is also a coincidence that Hang can connect with a former classmate in order to find how changed of a man her Uncle is. It comes to the point where Chinh would be silenced with a wad of cash. If that particular Bohemian student had not met Hang long ago nor stepped in when Hang met his Uncle in Russia, then she would not have known about the changes Chinh has went though. Perhaps, if the Bohemian wasn’t there in the first place, the students would have not hired Chinh, thus preventing the whole situation to take place.

  3. sarahpanera123 says:

    I absolutely loved the example that you provided about Hang’s father coincidentally meeting a traveling salesman who knew Que. However, one particular point that you should take into consideration is the history of the author herself. Duong Hong led the Communist Youth Brigade of musicians. What is coincidental about this, is Uncle Chinh’s wife’s occupation. This is because she herself worked with the Communist Youth Brigade. To me, this represented coincidence in the sense that the author herself created a character that resembled her. After reading your blogpost I was able to gain a greater outlook on the greater impact of coincidence within the novel!

  4. mehdyelouassi says:

    You’ve made a good point about Lodge’s opinion on coincidence and the need for balance in it’s use. You’ve also mentioned that in Paradise of the Blind there is only one instance of coincidence, but nonetheless it still contributed to the entire theme and development of the characters. Do you believe that there’s a significance to the fact that the idea that the author decided to have one instance of coincidence deliver such a major impact as supposed to perhaps a series of minor coincidences that collectively deliver the same impact?

  5. ghadahfahad says:

    Good job! You did a really great job in explaining how the use of coincidence is crucial in any literary piece of work. I agree with the points that you’ve made about how there needs to be a balance when using coincidence, so that the novel is not ruined. Overall, you clearly explained how coincidence is evident in the novel “Paradise of the Blind”.

  6. fatmahalamoudi says:

    Wonderful work, I really liked the point you stated about Coincidence as an imitation of life’s randomness . I can also relate it to my Blog which is repetition, and how I talked about the cripples song symbolized a mood in Hanoi which is the lifelessness and oddness.

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