Unpolished Gem


Alice Pung

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Alexander Pung Character Analysis

Alice’s brother, and Kien and Kuan’s son. Alexander’s parents don’t expect him to do the same amount of work as Alice because he is a boy and is less mature. However, he is roughly the same age as his sister, and, as Alice points out, girls are mature simply because they are given so much work and responsibility.

Alexander Pung Quotes in Unpolished Gem

The Unpolished Gem quotes below are all either spoken by Alexander Pung or refer to Alexander Pung. 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:
Culture and Assimilation  Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Plume edition of Unpolished Gem published in 2006.
Epilogue Quotes

Then, four weeks later, I decided that one of the little ones had to go. It was time. I imagined they were quivering in their cotton-wool padded prison, I was so excited. But when the drawer was opened—horror of all horrors, worse than finding my fortunes furtively stolen—ants spilled out and the bunny had melted and the goo that gushed from the eggs had wrecked my box. I didn’t care about the ants that would crawl up my arms, I pulled the whole drawer out of the cupboard and dug my hands in deep. While Alexander and Andrew watched, I started pulling out each egg one by one—or what was left of them—trying in desperation to find one that was not insect-infested, trying to sort through the foil and frustration, not wanting to believe that these squished tragedies were once my pride and joy, the things I had looked forward to most in the world for more than four weeks.

Related Characters: Alice Pung / Agheare (speaker), Huyen Thai, Alexander Pung
Related Symbols: Gold
Page Number: 281
Explanation and Analysis:
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Unpolished Gem PDF

Alexander Pung Character Timeline in Unpolished Gem

The timeline below shows where the character Alexander Pung appears in Unpolished Gem. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1
Culture and Assimilation  Theme Icon
...Thai, and Que “wah over it” and display each piece prominently. Alice and her brother, Alexander, make paper chains out of shopping advertisements from the newspaper during Christmastime and hang them... (full context)
Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Marriage Theme Icon
...Huyen Thai behind her back. “You are so evil,” Kien tells Alice, threatening to take Alexander and run away. When Alice begs her to stay, Kien threatens to commit suicide. “You... (full context)
Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
That night, Alice stays awake listening for sounds of Kien and Alexander’s departure. Thankfully, the next morning she wakes to find her mother and brother still there.... (full context)
Part 2
Culture and Assimilation  Theme Icon
Gender and Inequality Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Marriage Theme Icon
...well, and she is soon drowning in childcare and housework. She complains to Kien that Alexander isn’t expected to do as much as she is, and Kien claims that he doesn’t... (full context)
Part 3
Culture and Assimilation  Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Marriage Theme Icon
...our labour.” Kien even dressed Alison and Alina in dresses for the drive. Alice and Alexander would grow bored at the building site, but Kuan and Kien stood for hours, pointing... (full context)