First They Killed My Father

Geak Character Analysis

Loung’s little sister and the youngest Ung sibling, Geak is just three years old at the beginning of the story. Her name means “jade,” and Loung describes her as a happy, adorable child who is frequently cooed over by strangers. She becomes very frail and sick under the Khmer Rouge, however, and Ma and Pa fear that the prolonged periods of near-starvation have stunted her growth. Loung often laments how difficult things must be for Geak because she lacks the communication skills to convey her fear, anger, and sadness about the loss of Pa and Keav. While Loung is being trained as a child solder, Geak is killed by the Khmer Rouge along with Ma. Loung imagines the horror and confusion Geak must have felt, and laments that her short life was full of so much pain.

Geak Quotes in First They Killed My Father

The First They Killed My Father quotes below are all either spoken by Geak or refer to Geak. 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 9 Quotes

My first red dress, the one Ma made for me for the New Year's celebration. I remember Ma taking my measurements, holding the soft chiffon cloth against my body, and asking me if I liked it. "The color looks so pretty on you," she said, "and the chiffon material will keep you cool." Ma made three identical dresses for Chou, Geak, and me. ... I grind my teeth so hard the pain in my throat moves up to my temples. My hands clench in fists; I continue to stare at my dress. I do not see the soldier's hand reach into his pocket and retrieve from it a box of matches. I do not hear his fingers strike a match against the side of the box. The next thing I know the pile of clothes bursts into flames and my red dress melts like plastic in the fire.

Related Characters: Loung Ung (speaker), Ma , Chou, Geak
Related Symbols: Loung’s Red Dress
Page Number: 59
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 24 Quotes

One by one, people return to their homes, leaving me standing there alone, staring at the corpse. My mind plays back images of my parents' and sister's murders. Again my heart tears open as I stand there and wonder how they died. Quickly, I push the sadness away. The slumped over corpse reminds me of Pithy in her mother’s arms. Pithy’s head bled in much the same way. His death will not bring any of them back.

Related Characters: Loung Ung (speaker), Pa , Ma , Keav, Geak, Pithy
Page Number: 207
Explanation and Analysis:
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Geak Character Timeline in First They Killed My Father

The timeline below shows where the character Geak appears in First They Killed My Father. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2: The Ung Family, April 1975
Women’s Treatment in Times of War Theme Icon
The Unbreakable Bonds of Family Theme Icon
...is a spoiled troublemaker, though Pa thinks she is simply passionate. The youngest sibling is Geak, an adorable three-year-old girl. (full context)
Chapter 8: Anlungthmor, July 1975
The Price of Survival  Theme Icon
Genocide, Racism, and Propaganda Theme Icon
...five months earlier, by now two hundred have died from starvation, food poisoning, and malaria. Geak has grown extremely thin and frail. She cries with hunger. (full context)
Chapter 9: Ro Leap, November 1975
The Price of Survival  Theme Icon
Genocide, Racism, and Propaganda Theme Icon
Women’s Treatment in Times of War Theme Icon
The Unbreakable Bonds of Family Theme Icon
...days. Pa says the country will have a missing generation of children, and vows that Geak will not be the “Khmer Rouge’s next victim.” He works harder than anyone else, and... (full context)
Chapter 11: New Year’s, April 1976
The Price of Survival  Theme Icon
Genocide, Racism, and Propaganda Theme Icon
The Unbreakable Bonds of Family Theme Icon
...the chief said the Angkar would take care of them. She worries about the frail-looking Geak, who has lost most of her hair from starvation. Chong goes “crazy,” speaking to her... (full context)
Chapter 13: Pa, December 1976
The Price of Survival  Theme Icon
The Unbreakable Bonds of Family Theme Icon
...though Ma seems to recover after a month, Loung knows she will never smile again. Geak has stopped growing, causing Loung to feel deeply guilty for stealing the rice earlier. (full context)
Chapter 14: Ma’s Little Monkey, April 1977
The Price of Survival  Theme Icon
Genocide, Racism, and Propaganda Theme Icon
The Unbreakable Bonds of Family Theme Icon
Another New Year’s has passed, making Loung seven, Geak five, Chou ten, and Kim twelve. In keeping with Pa’s request, Kim acts as the... (full context)
Chapter 15: Leaving Home, May 1977
The Price of Survival  Theme Icon
Genocide, Racism, and Propaganda Theme Icon
The Unbreakable Bonds of Family Theme Icon
...they were in Phnom Penh: Kim rarely speaks, she and Chou do not fight, and Geak is increasingly withdrawn. Loung is deeply sad but knows Pa would not want her to... (full context)
The Price of Survival  Theme Icon
Genocide, Racism, and Propaganda Theme Icon
The Unbreakable Bonds of Family Theme Icon
...to say they must split up and leave her if they are to survive. Because Geak is only four, she must stay with Ma. The three others will walk in different... (full context)
Chapter 17: Gold for Chicken, November 1977
The Price of Survival  Theme Icon
Genocide, Racism, and Propaganda Theme Icon
The Unbreakable Bonds of Family Theme Icon
...Ma will not want to see her. She spots Ma working in the garden while Geak sits under a tree, looking as thin and tiny as ever despite now being five.... (full context)
The Price of Survival  Theme Icon
The Unbreakable Bonds of Family Theme Icon
...leave her camp, to the chief to ask for the day off. Loung waits with Geak, whom she observes looks sick. Despite having plenty of rice now, Ma fears that the... (full context)
Chapter 18: The Last Gathering, May 1978
Genocide, Racism, and Propaganda Theme Icon
The Unbreakable Bonds of Family Theme Icon
...Ma calling to her and thinks she has gone crazy until she sees that Ma, Geak, Chou, Kim, and Meng are, in fact, all really there; it is the only infirmary... (full context)
Chapter 19: The Walls Crumble, November 1978
The Price of Survival  Theme Icon
Genocide, Racism, and Propaganda Theme Icon
The Unbreakable Bonds of Family Theme Icon
...away from the camp. She rushes back to Ro Leap, feeling as though Ma and Geak are calling out to her. Pa once told Loung she had extrasensory perception, which she... (full context)
Genocide, Racism, and Propaganda Theme Icon
...wonders if he, too, was this afraid. The soldiers make everyone kneel and Ma pulls Geak toward her, praying and thinking of Pa rather than begging for her life, which she... (full context)
Chapter 20: The Youn Invasion, January 1979
The Price of Survival  Theme Icon
Genocide, Racism, and Propaganda Theme Icon
The Unbreakable Bonds of Family Theme Icon
...eats, Loung thinks of how Ma was beaten when she tried to get chicken for Geak. (full context)
The Unbreakable Bonds of Family Theme Icon
Neither Kim nor Chou mention Ma and Geak, so Loung assumes they know they are dead. Kim says they will walk to Pursat... (full context)
Chapter 22: Flying Bullets, February 1979
Genocide, Racism, and Propaganda Theme Icon
The Unbreakable Bonds of Family Theme Icon
...Chou for New Year’s. She thinks of Keav helping with her hair while Chou got Geak dressed, and the feast she then had with the rest of her family. She dreams... (full context)
Chapter 25: Back to Bat Deng, April 1979
The Price of Survival  Theme Icon
Genocide, Racism, and Propaganda Theme Icon
Women’s Treatment in Times of War Theme Icon
The Unbreakable Bonds of Family Theme Icon
...now, she reflects that her heart will never get over losing Ma, Pa, Keav, and Geak. (full context)