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Character Names in Paradise of the Blind

Before going in on the Character names in Paradise of the Blind there are many important points that are mentioned by Lodge that could help understand character names in relation to Paradise of the Blind. One important point that Lodge mentions that leads us to the character names in Paradise of the Blind is surnames are generally perceived as arbitrary. The word surname is a hereditary name common to all family members. In Paradise of the Blind the last name Ton is a Vietnamese surname that is originated with Nguyen.

In the Vietnamese language the word Ton means priceless, in Paradise of the Blind Ton is Hangs father. Throughout the whole novel his main goal was to make sure his family and daughter were good no matter what it took. Which shows why the word priceless is defined in terms of his name, taking care of his family is so precious that it is priceless and its value cannot be determined.

Hang, the main character, daughter of Ton and Que represents the meaning of moon which is referring to darkness. Que, the mother of Hang, her name in Vietnamese means precious and valuable. In my perspective this shows the relationship between Que and her daughter. Que values the relationship between her daughter and realizes how precious she is as well as teaching her the morals in the Vietnamese Culture.

Uncle Chinch and his wife were both Communists party officials. One thing that had stood out was the definition of his name and what had occurred in the novel in his situation. The word Chinh means righteousness, and throughout the novel he had clear intentions of doing the right thing but he actually wasn’t.

In conclusion the author,  Duong Thu Huong had chose each character with a specific meaning and linked it to their actions in the story and how they represent themselves. Each character has their own story and background which helps us understand the true meaning of the Vietnamese word itself. One important point that was mentioned by Lodge that concludes what i had mentioned is, “naming of characters are an important part of creating them”.

Danya Yaghmour


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