The Refugees

by

Viet Thanh Nguyen

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The boy’s father Character Analysis

The father of the boy who narrates “War Years.” He had fled Vietnam with the boy’s mother and the boy after the Communists had seized his auto parts store. He now owns a grocery store, the New Saigon Market, with his wife in San Jose, California. Like his wife, the boy’s father sees the value in maintaining the boy’s Vietnamese culture, though he does not work to maintain it as strictly as the boy’s mother does.

The boy’s father Quotes in The Refugees

The The Refugees quotes below are all either spoken by The boy’s father or refer to The boy’s father. 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.
War Years Quotes

“And what about bologna?”

“What?” My mother’s brow furrowed. “If I can’t pronounce it, my customers won’t buy it.”

Related Characters: The Boy (speaker), The Boy’s Mother (speaker), The boy’s father
Page Number: 50
Explanation and Analysis:

“Go buy,” she said in English, motioning me inside. Whenever she spoke in English, her voice took on a higher pitch, as if instead of coming from inside her, the language was outside, squeezing her by the throat.

Related Characters: The Boy (speaker), The Boy’s Mother (speaker), Mrs. Hoa, The boy’s father
Page Number: 72
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Refugees LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Refugees PDF

The boy’s father Character Timeline in The Refugees

The timeline below shows where the character The boy’s father appears in The Refugees. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
War Years
War and the Refugee Experience Theme Icon
Cultural Identity and Family Theme Icon
Memory and Ghosts Theme Icon
That night, the boy’s father tells the boy’s mother that it might be prudent to pay a little hush money.... (full context)
War and the Refugee Experience Theme Icon
...mother agrees. She says, “They don’t believe in God and they don’t believe in money.” The boy’s father adds that they believe in taking other people’s money—which he had experienced when his old... (full context)
War and the Refugee Experience Theme Icon
...refuses to throw away money on a lost cause. The family finishes their accounting and the boy’s father sweeps the money into his satchel. Some of their profits go to the bank, some... (full context)
War and the Refugee Experience Theme Icon
The boy’s parents shake with fear, and the boy’s father gets down on his knees, as does the boy. But the boy’s mother does not... (full context)
War and the Refugee Experience Theme Icon
...attempt. The police had brought his mother home from a neighbor’s house. She yelled at the boy’s father , saying she saved their lives, and pulled at the boy’s ear, telling him never... (full context)
War and the Refugee Experience Theme Icon
...Mawr, and looks down in shame when she says that her daughter is studying philosophy. The boy’s father and mother think that she is wasting her education, but Mrs. Hoa says “Excellent!” and... (full context)
War and the Refugee Experience Theme Icon
Memory and Ghosts Theme Icon
...an incident years ago when she had bribed a general’s wife with gold to free the boy’s father from the draft. They hadn’t talked about it since, and would likely not talk about... (full context)
Cultural Identity and Family Theme Icon
...never given him an allowance before. When he had asked for one in fourth grade, the boy’s father had instead handed him a list of expenses he had incurred—including his birth, feeding, education,... (full context)