The Happiest Refugee

by

Anh Do

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on The Happiest Refugee can help.

Uncle Thanh Character Analysis

Eldest brother to Anh’s mother, and husband to Aunty Huong. During the Vietnam War, he served as a paratrooper and fought alongside American and Australian troops. He endured the Communist re-education camp to which he was sent after the end of the war, and almost died there as a result of brutality and disease. He was rescued from the camp, along with his brother Huy, by his brother-in-law Tam. Although he survived the camp, he became infertile as a result of an operation that was undertaken on him there. Uncle Thanh makes the dangerous journey on the boat with Anh’s family to escape Vietnam.

Uncle Thanh Quotes in The Happiest Refugee

The The Happiest Refugee quotes below are all either spoken by Uncle Thanh or refer to Uncle Thanh . 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 1 Quotes

One sunny afternoon my father walked into the remote re-education camp dressed as a high-ranking communist officer. He marched right through the front door of the commanding officer’s room.

“These two men need to come with me,” he demanded. The commanding officer was bewildered. He was afraid to disobey such a high-ranking official so he did not resist. My father then walked my uncles out of the camp, right through the front gate.

Related Characters: Anh Do (speaker), Tam / Anh’s Father, Uncle Thanh , Uncle Huy
Related Symbols: The Re-education Camps
Page Number: 8
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Happiest Refugee LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Happiest Refugee PDF

Uncle Thanh Character Timeline in The Happiest Refugee

The timeline below shows where the character Uncle Thanh 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
...troops, were condemned to communist re-education camps after the end of the Vietnam War. Uncle Thanh, a gentle, quiet man, almost died in the re-education camp, where he was forced to... (full context)
Poverty and Hardship Theme Icon
Courage and Perseverance Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
After his marriage to Anh’s mother, Anh’s father Tam rescues his brothers-in-law Thanh and Huy from the communist re-education camp to which they have been condemned, and he... (full context)
Chapter 2
Migration and Luck Theme Icon
Poverty and Hardship Theme Icon
Courage and Perseverance Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
...sea. Anh, two and a half years old at the time, leaves with his Uncle Thanh and Aunty Huong in a canoe. His uncle and aunt, who have hidden him in... (full context)
Chapter 10
Migration and Luck Theme Icon
Poverty and Hardship Theme Icon
Courage and Perseverance Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Betrayal and Forgiveness Theme Icon
...the Communist re-education camp, dressed in a senior official’s uniform, to rescue his two brothers-in-law Thanh and Huy. He had also been terrified while guiding the family on the “Motherfish” boat... (full context)