The Sympathizer

The Sympathizer


Viet Thanh Nguyen

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The Congressman’s wife. The narrator meets her, along with Madame and the General, at a lunch at her and her husband’s home in Huntington Beach. She is a Cuban refugee from Fidel Castro’s revolution. She bears “a passing resemblance” to an aged and plumper Rita Hayworth. She believes that the Cubans and the South Vietnamese are cousins in their shared cause against Communism. She is a housewife with strict rules for her children, including no rock music, no dating until they are eighteen, and a ten o’clock curfew.
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Rita Character Timeline in The Sympathizer

The timeline below shows where the character Rita appears in The Sympathizer. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 7
Asian Identity in the United States Theme Icon
At lunch, the conversation turns back to Lana. Rita, the Congressman’s wife, sympathizes. She has strict rules for her own children. The Congressman mentions... (full context)