First They Killed My Father

Pithy Character Analysis

A girl whom Loung and Chou befriend while gathering water from a stream in the Vietnamese displaced peoples camp. Like Chou, Pithy is quiet and meek. The Khmer Rouge also took her father away, so she lives with her mother and brother and meets Chou and Loung each morning to gather firewood. Pithy is sitting next to Loung when a bomb hits the abandoned warehouse where villagers have taken shelter from a Khmer Rouge attack, killing her. Loung describes the gory horror of seeing Pithy’s head smashed in, as well as the subsequent anguish of Pithy’s mother and brother.

Pithy Quotes in First They Killed My Father

The First They Killed My Father quotes below are all either spoken by Pithy or refer to Pithy. 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 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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Pithy Character Timeline in First They Killed My Father

The timeline below shows where the character Pithy 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
The Unbreakable Bonds of Family Theme Icon
...a stream one day, Chou and Loung befriend a girl with pretty brown eyes named Pithy. She is the same age as Chou and similarly timid. Pithy’s father was also taken... (full context)
Women’s Treatment in Times of War Theme Icon
...fight him off before running off into the woods. Having heard her screams, Chou and Pithy come running. They carry their firewood back to the base. When Loung thinks she sees... (full context)
Chapter 22: Flying Bullets, February 1979
The Price of Survival  Theme Icon
One day while gathering firewood with Pithy, the girls come across a decomposing body in the woods. Though she cannot be sure,... (full context)
Chapter 23: Khmer Rouge Attack, February 1979
Genocide, Racism, and Propaganda Theme Icon
...where they take shelter in an abandoned warehouse along with many other villagers. Loung sees Pithy and her family and motions for them to sit next to her. Everyone spends a... (full context)
The Price of Survival  Theme Icon
Genocide, Racism, and Propaganda Theme Icon
The Unbreakable Bonds of Family Theme Icon
The next morning, a rocket hits the warehouse. Loung reaches for Pithy’s hand only to find that her skull has been smashed in, creating a gruesome scene... (full context)
Genocide, Racism, and Propaganda Theme Icon
The Unbreakable Bonds of Family Theme Icon
...on a landmine, which the Khmer Rouge often leave behind after an attack. Loung sees Pithy’s brother, who is kind to her one day but the next screams at her to... (full context)
Chapter 24: The Execution, March 1979
The Price of Survival  Theme Icon
Genocide, Racism, and Propaganda Theme Icon
...how her family members died, and notes that the soldier’s head bleeds the same way Pithy’s did. His death won’t bring any of them back. Loung and a few other children... (full context)