What We All Long For By Dionne Brand

1645 Words7 Pages
The novel What We All Long For by Dionne Brand is another racially and culturally dynamic story about the struggles of a Vietnamese/Canadian girl named Tuyen. Tuyen’s story is related to the struggles that her family had undergone when escaping Vietnam and losing her brothers in transit. Over the years, Tuyen 's brother, Quy, has become a gangster in Thailand, which brings a clash of values to the family. Tuyen is a young woman that tends to view herself as being between the vain world of her parent’s middle class lifestyle, and the chaotic world of Quy’s criminal lifestyle. In this manner, Tuyen brings a postmodern appeal to the story, since she finds an ambiguous balance between the well-to-do lifestyle of her parents and the lower class world that Quy has had to survive since he was separated from his family. This family tension defines Tuyen’s struggle with her father as part of the capitalistic mentality of Asian immigrants that she rebels against by living in lower class apartment. In some ways, Tuyen is a protagonist that embodies the freedoms of a postmodernist hero because she does not give into the temptation of wealth, nor does she give into the criminality and shame that is typically associated with the lower classes. For instance, Tuyen’s father, Binh, does not like to visit his daughter because she has chosen to live in a downtrodden apartment complex: Cam would have liked to visit her daughter, but Tuyen’s father had forbidden it…Binh refused to go up to the
Open Document