analysis and answer the question for south wind changing

Analysis and answer the question for `south wind changing`


The book tells the story of a young Vietnamese and his survival in a country that is ravaged by war. The book replicates the stories of a young generation of Vietnamese who faced hard life following the war in their country as a result of fall of South Vietnam in 1975. Jade recounts his life and that of his siblings in the war torn country. Jade grew up in the area of Mekong Delta southern Vietnam.  He was one of the 17 children of a previous prosperous farmer whose life is blown apart by war.  His desire for the life in Mekong Delta is nostalgic throughout the book.  He grew up in a Vietnamese pastoral life where he rode of n buffalo back, flying kites, chasing grasshoppers on the rice fields. Jade was attending his classes in Saigon University when the war broke our in Vietnam. North Vietnamese tanks came rolling through the south in the early months of 1975. It was just in time when French and American embassies shut down they gates when Jade’s ordeal just began. His crime is just being a student. He is thrown into the labor camp in remote jungles on the Cambodian border. It is in these labor camps that Jade recounts his suffering terming them as months of ‘re-study’ described by the beatings, harsh field work, avoiding starvation by eating snakes, rats, stealing rice and others, digging graves, whispered friendship, and many other kind of sufferings.

The kind of suffering in the longing to join his family comes out when he remembers his mothers love. He remembers the days with his mother and his father worshiping Buddha. He just misses this love. His attempts to escape lands him in Thailand and eventually he get to a refugee camp in the United States. Throughout the book, the author expresses many of his desires in what he want to do with his life and what he want to see changed in  his surroundings.

While still undergoing education, the authors realizes that the problem that country was facing is from the politics of the land. He describes politics as a messy game which is difficult to come out of so long as their country has been sold to the Soviet Union. It is very clear that in his speech he plans to achieve big things for the country by changing the nature of leadership. By creating close relationship between the problems facing the country and the nature of politics, the author clearly illustrate how changing the nature of politics would make the country self sufficient and that is what he exactly want to achieve in his life. (Jade, 1994)

The author has a very strong belief in achieving education that would enable him to change the country. While recounting his life in the rice fields, Jade recounts his childhood dreams of pursuing education which he expects all Vietnamese children to attain.  He understands that with proper education, the country can change its economic status and develop technology based farming to make the country break the cycle of reliance from US, China and Russia. It is very clear that the narrator want to achieve the best in his life and for his country.  Although he has to go abroad for further studies, he is contemplating staying back like anyone else so as to fight for their country. From this, we can deduce that the author has a love for his country and he consider going out of the country as a betrayal to the country. (Jade, 1994)

Although the country is ravaged by war, the author has a big dream for his later life. He strives in his education. He dreams to change the country. He dreams to achieve high education that can assist him to change the course of the leadership of the country. While leaving for Saigol for his university education, he has high dreams of achieving the best in life. However his big dream would be sealed when he sees a modern Vietnam that is governed by Vietnamese. This would be a government that is formed on strong foundation of Vietnamese ideologies. He wants to see a Vietnamese president who can mix freely with his subjects. He wants a president who would be freely visited by the citizens and talk freely and not a president who is shield from people by bodyguards.  Most of all, the author wants to see a prosperous Vietnam.

However there appears to be a big conflict between his desire for a free country and responsibility. First it appears like he is not sure of what turn he wants his life to take. His dream of going for studies to the United States is crumbled by his desire to remain and fight like anyone else.  This expresses s conflict between freedom and responsibility which touches his core of Buddhism. Even when Jade opts to escape Chu Tu, this pursues his in his several attempts to escape from Vietnam.  Initially when they worship with his mother and father, there is a strong family bond, which displays a family closely interwoven by love.  Every decision that Jade makes further separates him from these loved ones who have scarified a lot of money and risked their life for him.

Jade is also not happy with how the Northerners have implanted secret police, loyalties and profound cynicism.  This has weakened the urgency to family loyalties and the no one debates on whether to flee or to remain.  Jade is not happy about how people are taking patriotism. There is no one who speaks about patriotism.  This expresses the suffering that people goes through torn between the love of their country and the fact that you cannot discuss your course of patriotism since you never know who the spy is and who is a true patriot.

The author is not happy with the events as they are unfolding in his surrounding. Jade hates the Northern conquerors and the way they have tried to change life in the south.  His hate for the Northern comes with a disdain less ideological than cultural which is somehow touched with snobbery. He shows a mixed attitude towards the Vietcong. For example his description of Vietcong Camp Commander Chu Tu who he says endured more than 30 years of hardships with an aim of liberating the country. However at the end he finds himself taking orders together with Jade in the jungle camp.  Most of all, he appears fed up by the political turn of events. In his description, Jade clearly shows how they had planned to run their country according to the plan by Uncle Ho but when the Northern comrades took over the country, they are left with no voice, not power and they are still stuck in labor camps. He feels discouraged that the country has already been sold in the pas through the Paris Accord and it is very clear that it would be difficult to achieve his dream. While talking with his friend Hanh, he says that he has not control of the situation in politics and government but he can hind his displeasure with the turn of events. (Jade, 1994)

The author is also not happy with the event at university and the way the communist party wanted to penetrate even to class. The author explains how even after the end of the war, there was a new revolution that was taking place and a Vietnamese class conflict had just begun. When with his friend Hanh tried to escape, there could not since there was a government order which required all the southerners to report at certain place. His interpretation of this even shows that the southerners were being monitored so that they could not escape.

There was confiscation of all the literature that was in possession of the southerners. They were forced to give up their books, magazine, and other materials and those who defied the order would be executed. It did not matter whether one was a teacher, student or a civilian but they had to give up all the literature that was in their possession. In simple interpretation, this was meant to break away from their traditions and tow with the new revolution. This was one of the ways in which communist as exerting itself to the people by bringing in new ideologies. (Jade, 1994)

In Vinh Binh, they were forced to receive new information about communist party on daily bases.  There were secret police in all places assessing spying on the people and any suspects who held anti-communist ideas would be arrested immediately.  The author interprets that this was meant to deny people their own freedom of expression and no one even dreamt about what they believed in. they had to march everyday chanting slogans praising their new leader Ho Chi Minh and the communist party.  They sang victory song for the new leader and condemned the betrayers who followed the US and the South Vietnam government. (Jade, 1994)

All these were events which were happening in the authors surrounding. It is very clear that from the authors description he was not happy with what was happening and the division that had emerge between the northern and southern Vietnam. Through the description of the events the author shows how the country slipped to the communist rule after the end of the war with Americans.  Jade wants changes which are difficult to bring. He hates the Northerners for the suffering they have brought to the south. The narration express a degree of despair that they can not control their country but there is ray of hope that one day things will be okay.


Jade, N. Q. H. (1994): South Wind changing. Graywolf Press

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