Character Essay- Mai From "Goodbye Vietnam"

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade October 2001

download word file, 2 pages 0.0

Downloaded 3404 times

Character Essay- Mai from "Goodbye, Vietnam" Mai is the main character in the story "Goodbye, Vietnam". She has a nice personality. She works hard in the rice paddies as well as in her school. She obeys her parents and gets along with her sibling, Anh and Thant. Mai never whines and is always there to help. As the story progresses, she becomes stronger as a person does.

Her strengths are being able to get along with easy, working hard, and being a very mature person. Her largest strength is being mature about everything. When Mai and her family have to leave Vietnam because the government is going to arrest her Grandmother, she is very mature about it because she does what her father tells her to do without whining. Her second greatest strength is being able to get along with people well. She shows this strength very well on the boat when she becomes good friends with several of the desperate refugees.

Her last strength is working hard. The only time she shows this is when she is working in the rice paddies and in her school. Even though she doesn't show this strength very much, it is still one of her good strengths.

Mai's only weakness is being shy around people that she doesn't know. Even though she can get along with other people, she is still very shy. She demonstrates this when she first meets a girl her age named Kim. She wants to ask Kim a lot of questions because she is wearing American blue jeans, but she does not have the courage to. She also demonstrates this when they are in Hong Kong in the refugee camp and one of their friends is getting taken away. She does not have any courage to say anything to him except but to grab his arm.

The changes that occurred within Mai are excellent changes. As the story progresses, she becomes stronger as a person in the mind and in the body. She proves this many ways. One of the ways is when they are in Hong Kong in the refugee camp. During dinner when everyone is getting food served to them, some of the families are complaining. Mai and her family do not complain at all and are extremely grateful for the small amount of food that they get. This is a good example because since she is used to little or no food at all, any food is great to her.

Mai deals with many events in the book. One event was when a baby was born on the boat. She is very mature about it while her sister is crying and whiles her brother thinks that it's gross. She calmly tells them that it's going to be ok. That is why I said maturity is her biggest strength.

The biggest problem that Mai has to overcome is obviously leaving her home and learning how to cope without it. This is her home that she is supposed to live and die in. This is also the place where he ancestors have lived, worshipped, and been buried. Again she overcomes it with her maturity. The second problem she has to overcome is the heat, hunger, and thirst. For the third time she overcomes it with her maturity by not whining, talking, or thinking about it. The last problem she goes through is leaving Hong Kong for America. This is hard for her because she has to say goodbye to all of her friends who which she will probably never see again. If it were not for Mai's strengths and weaknesses, she would not have been able to make the long journey from Vietnam to America.