Inside Out and Back Again


Thanhhà Lai

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Inside Out and Back Again Symbols


Papayas, ’s favorite fruit, symbolize Hà herself. The papaya tree in Hà’s family’s backyard grew from a seed that Hà flicked outside. Since Hà threw the seed out there, it’s grown exponentially—just as Hà…

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The Amethyst Ring

The amethyst ring that Father brought back from the U.S. for Mother symbolizes Mother’s connection to Father. Father has been missing in action for the last nine years, and nobody knows if he’s deceased, a…

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Dolls represent ’s childhood. When Hà and her family packs to flee the war in South Vietnam, Mother allows everyone one “choice” item to include with their necessities (clothes, food, and toiletries). Hà chooses…

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