The Refugees

by

Viet Thanh Nguyen

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Marcus Chan Character Analysis

One of the two men who serve as Liem’s hosts in “The Other Man,” along with Parrish Coyne. Marcus is from Hong Kong, is in his early twenties, is finishing college, and is in a romantic relationship with Parrish. He had been sent overseas for school by his father, who was an executive at a rubber company, but his father had disowned him when an ex-lover of Marcus’s had sent him very “candid” photos, revealing that he was gay. Marcus takes an interest in Liem, and when Parrish leaves for a weekend, the two kindle a romance of their own. But while Marcus and Liem share an intimate connection, Marcus does not return Liem’s expression of love, which makes Liem feel even more isolated than he had been.

Marcus Chan Quotes in The Refugees

The The Refugees quotes below are all either spoken by Marcus Chan or refer to Marcus Chan. 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 and the Refugee Experience Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Grove Press edition of The Refugees published in 2017.
The Other Man Quotes

In the darkness, he heard the rustle of mosquito netting as the others masturbated also. The next morning, everyone looked at each other blankly, and nobody spoke of what had occurred the previous evening, as if it were an atrocity in the jungle better left buried.

Related Characters: Liem, Marcus Chan, Parrish Coyne
Page Number: 28-29
Explanation and Analysis:
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Marcus Chan Character Timeline in The Refugees

The timeline below shows where the character Marcus Chan appears in The Refugees. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The Other Man
Intimacy and Isolation Theme Icon
Parrish then introduces Marcus Chan, who appears to be in his early twenties, only a few years older than... (full context)
Cultural Identity and Family Theme Icon
Intimacy and Isolation Theme Icon
Parrish and Marcus give some introductory information about living in San Francisco before going on to tell Liem... (full context)
Cultural Identity and Family Theme Icon
Intimacy and Isolation Theme Icon
The car arrives at Parrish and Marcus’s home, which is mauve. The woman at the refugee service had warned Liem that people... (full context)
War and the Refugee Experience Theme Icon
...where he is living and how to get in touch with him. Downstairs, Liem finds Marcus and Parrish eating breakfast. They had started arguing more seriously in front of him, and... (full context)
Intimacy and Isolation Theme Icon
...Liem returns home, he showers off the day’s sweat and tries not to think of Marcus’s body. After he exits the shower and wraps a towel around his waist, he runs... (full context)
Cultural Identity and Family Theme Icon
Intimacy and Isolation Theme Icon
After Liem and Marcus drop Parrish off, they go to Chinatown for food. Marcus explains some of his own... (full context)
Cultural Identity and Family Theme Icon
Intimacy and Isolation Theme Icon
Liem tells Marcus, in turn, about his own family. In his hometown of Long Xuyen, no one traveled... (full context)
Cultural Identity and Family Theme Icon
Intimacy and Isolation Theme Icon
Marcus tells Liem not to dwell on the past: that the best way to help them... (full context)
Intimacy and Isolation Theme Icon
...liquor store, Liem rushes home when his shift ends. He recalls how after he and Marcus had finished eating, Liem had paid the check. They had then walked through Chinatown together... (full context)
Cultural Identity and Family Theme Icon
Intimacy and Isolation Theme Icon
When Liem returns from the liquor store, Marcus presents him with a letter from his family. Liem doesn’t open it. Marcus says that... (full context)
Intimacy and Isolation Theme Icon
After Liem and Marcus have sex, Liem realizes that things may not have gone well. They did not get... (full context)
Intimacy and Isolation Theme Icon
Lying in bed, holding Marcus, Liem says, “I love you.” Marcus says nothing, and Liem starts to put his clothes... (full context)
Intimacy and Isolation Theme Icon
Marcus and Liem continue to hold each other, until Marcus asks whether Liem is going to... (full context)
Cultural Identity and Family Theme Icon
Intimacy and Isolation Theme Icon
After Marcus falls asleep, Liem sneaks out of bed and takes a shower. Parrish calls to check... (full context)