First They Killed My Father


Loung Ung

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Loung’s excitement about being part of a family again are abruptly shattered upon meeting her first foster mother. She treats Loung and her siblings cruelly. When Loung cuts her foot after nearly being raped by the Vietnamese soldier, the foster mother calls her lazy and stupid and says she will amount to nothing or become a hooker. Loung reflects that she has everything she needs to amount to something because of what Pa taught her.

Foster mother Quotes in First They Killed My Father

The First They Killed My Father quotes below are all either spoken by Foster mother or refer to Foster mother. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Price of Survival  Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Harper Perennial edition of First They Killed My Father published in 2001.
Chapter 21 Quotes

"No one knows how precious you are. You are a diamond in the rough and with a little polishing, you will shine," Pa whispers softly. His gentle words bring a small smile to my lips. The mother may not give me the love I crave, but I know what it feels like to be loved. Pa loved me and believed in me. With that little reminder from him, I know the foster mother is wrong about me. I do possess the one thing I need to make something of myself one day: I have everything my Pa gave me.

Related Characters: Loung Ung (speaker), Pa (speaker), Foster mother
Page Number: 183
Explanation and Analysis:
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Foster mother Character Timeline in First They Killed My Father

The timeline below shows where the character Foster mother appears in First They Killed My Father. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 21: The First Foster Family, January 1979
Women’s Treatment in Times of War Theme Icon
The Unbreakable Bonds of Family Theme Icon
Their new foster mother greets the children coldly and instructs them to sleep in the corner of their hut.... (full context)
The Price of Survival  Theme Icon
The Unbreakable Bonds of Family Theme Icon
Upon returning home, their foster mother scolds Loung and Chou for bringing back too little wood and calls Loung stupid and... (full context)