Literature, Language, and Life

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Zahra Ibrahim

Lodge Chapter: Surprise

Book: Paradise of the Blind
Surprise is an element, which is found in literature that twists the plot and adds shock. Surprise is found everywhere in paradise of the blind. It can be experienced by the characters of the book, or it can be a sudden event that has the characters and readers surprised. As lodge says, in order for surprise to work it “ must be convincing as well as unexpected”. ( Lodge, P. 71)  Surprise is peripeteia, “ the sudden shift from one state affairs to its opposite.” ( Lodge, P. 71)

The first thing that came as a surprise was communism, in the beginning communism wasn’t apart of the world. Communism failed the country and its people, it was the cause of splitting Vietnam into two. When communism hit in Vietnam during the period of the book “ paradise of the blind” many people were forced to enter the army.

Freedom and civil rights began to fade, and people lost their rights. Suddenly having communism appear is a surprise to both the reader and the characters. It was hard for everyone to deal with the changes, and it took a while.

The ending of the chapter was a huge surprise for the reader, and it was also very shocking and sad. Hangs actions were surprising when she decided to sell all of Aunt Tam’s jewelry, the house, and leave the village. Aunt Tam’s wish on her deathbed wasn’t what hang ended up following. This was something I wouldn’t have expected from Hang, because she was really respectful.


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