Inside Out and Back Again

by

Thanhhà Lai

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Uncle Son isn’t and her brothers’ blood uncle; rather, he was in the same navy class as Father and was Father’s best friend. He’s short and “smiley.” He’s remained close with Mother since Father’s disappearance, and he’s the one to convince Mother that the family should leave South Vietnam for their safety. Uncle Son invites Mother to join him and his family in Canada, but Mother declines because she knows Uncle Son’s wife wouldn’t like it.

Uncle Son Quotes in Inside Out and Back Again

The Inside Out and Back Again quotes below are all either spoken by Uncle Son or refer to Uncle Son. 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:
War, Childhood, and Maturity Theme Icon
).
Part 1: Saigon Quotes

Five papayas
the sizes of
my head,
a knee,
two elbows,
and a thumb
cling to the trunk.

Still green
but promising.

Related Characters: Kim Hà (speaker), Mother, Uncle Son
Related Symbols: Papaya
Page Number: 41
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Inside Out and Back Again LitChart as a printable PDF.
Inside Out and Back Again PDF

Uncle Son Character Timeline in Inside Out and Back Again

The timeline below shows where the character Uncle Son appears in Inside Out and Back Again. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1: Saigon
War, Childhood, and Maturity Theme Icon
Immigration, Culture Shock, and Belonging Theme Icon
Bridge to the Sea. Father’s best friend, Uncle Son , visits Hà’s family. He’s short and always smiles, unlike Father, who was tall and... (full context)
War, Childhood, and Maturity Theme Icon
Immigration, Culture Shock, and Belonging Theme Icon
Family and Grief Theme Icon
Watch Over Us. Uncle Son comes back and insists they must be ready to leave at any moment. He also... (full context)
Immigration, Culture Shock, and Belonging Theme Icon
Family and Grief Theme Icon
...are no secrets among the Vietnamese: thousands of people are there to board navy ships. Uncle Son sticks his elbows out to protect his kids, but Hà’s family “sticks together / like... (full context)
Immigration, Culture Shock, and Belonging Theme Icon
In the Dark. Uncle Son appears and leads Mother, Hà, and Hà’s brothers off the ship. Apparently the next ship... (full context)
Part 2: At Sea
War, Childhood, and Maturity Theme Icon
Immigration, Culture Shock, and Belonging Theme Icon
...of bamboo, so they’re flexible enough to bend and do what they’re told. Mother tells Uncle Son that Hà needs a bathroom, and Hà is allowed to use the commander’s cabin. It’s... (full context)
Immigration, Culture Shock, and Belonging Theme Icon
Family and Grief Theme Icon
...to go to France, where many Vietnamese went years ago when North and South divided. Uncle Son encourages Mother to come with him to Canada to be with his sister. Knowing that... (full context)