The Happiest Refugee

by

Anh Do

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Uncle One Character Analysis

Eldest brother to Tam, Anh’s father. Uncle One was meant to accompany the family on their escape from Vietnam, but was murdered shortly beforehand, when he and his brother Tam met three men to purchase the boat on which the family was to make their voyage. Anh’s father feels terrible guilt over his brother’s death, given that he was with him the night of his murder, and didn’t follow him and the three men, as he believes, in retrospect, he should have.

Uncle One Quotes in The Happiest Refugee

The The Happiest Refugee quotes below are all either spoken by Uncle One or refer to Uncle One . 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:
Migration and Luck Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Allen & Unwin edition of The Happiest Refugee published in 2010.
Chapter 10 Quotes

Dad volunteered to go, but Uncle One insisted that Dad should stay and wait, and that he’d go. So Dad and Uncle One split up the boat money between the two of them, and Uncle One went with the men, while Dad waited. An hour later . . . no Uncle One. An hour and a half later . . . no Uncle One.

“I had an ill feeling in my stomach, Anh, like something was wrong.” Dad looked up to the ceiling, and his face turned a deep red. “I felt an urge to go down the track, to see what had happened . . . in fact, as soon as Uncle One left with them, I felt an urge to track behind them.”

I listened stunned.

“I didn’t follow. I just waited.”

Related Characters: Anh Do (speaker), Tam / Anh’s Father, Uncle One
Related Symbols: The Journey
Page Number: 186
Explanation and Analysis:
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Uncle One Character Timeline in The Happiest Refugee

The timeline below shows where the character Uncle One appears in The Happiest Refugee. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Poverty and Hardship Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...of their birth order. Anh’s father Tam was known as Four, among his other siblings, One, Two, Three, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine. Anh’s grandmother supported all the children on the... (full context)
Chapter 10
Migration and Luck Theme Icon
Courage and Perseverance Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Betrayal and Forgiveness Theme Icon
On that evening, his father reminisces, remembering his eldest brother Binh, or Uncle One. Uncle One had been the gentlest and kindest of the brothers, Tam tells Anh. He... (full context)