The Sympathizer

The Sympathizer


Viet Thanh Nguyen

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The Tax Collector Character Analysis

A South Vietnamese man who has an overbite and hairs sprouting from a mole “the size of a marble” on his cheek. His official occupation is “rice wine merchant,” while his black market occupation is “casino operator.” “Tax collector” is listed as his hobby. He spends a week in “interrogation” where he is beaten until his questioners are convinced that he is not a Viet Cong, or Communist, operative. He bribes the crapulent major with a year’s salary to be released from the interrogation center. The major accepts the bribe and gives the narrator his share, which the latter gives to Man to donate to the revolution.
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The Tax Collector Character Timeline in The Sympathizer

The timeline below shows where the character The Tax Collector appears in The Sympathizer. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 6
Loyalty vs. Duplicity Theme Icon
Moral Ambivalence and Purpose Theme Icon
...the narrator of a past incident in Cholon, involving the arrest of a Communist suspect, a tax collector . The crapulent major’s men entered the tax collector’s shop and pushed past his wife... (full context)