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Theme of Inside Out and Back Again

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by

Anne Li

on 21 February 2014

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Transcript of Theme of Inside Out and Back Again

Theme of
Inside Out and Back Again
(Historical/Realistic Fiction)

Theme of
Inside Out and Back Again
The theme of
Inside Out and Back Again
is "it takes hope, determination, and family to push through hard times."
Supporting Evidence
Supporting Evidence:
Theme: "It takes hope, determination, and family to push through hard times."
The commander of the ship, which was carrying many people including Hà's family had taken the river escape route to avoid bombs dropped by the Communists. Although they missed the bombs, they also missed rescue ships. Their ship had only one engine, and "Thailand is much farther on one engine." This was a horrifying event -- food became even more rationed because it was impossible to predict how much longer the ship would be floating. Even after this, Hà's mother kept Hà hopeful by telling her about the moon and how her father may be looking at the same moon at that moment. Family and determination helped Hà and her family during these times.
Supporting Evidence:
Theme: "It takes hope, determination, and family to push through hard times."
Everybody, including Hà's family, was devastated when the commander called the people on the ship above deck for a formal lowering of the country's flag.
South Vietnam no longer exists.
This affected everyone and required a big amount of hope, faith, and determination to push through and keep on going.
Supporting Evidence:
Theme: "It takes hope, determination, and family to push through hard times."
During the Vietnam War, Hà's family is forced to flee South Vietnam and the turmoil they faced -- the Communists had gotten closer to their hometown. They squeeze onto a ship leaving South Vietnam and manage to survive the horrible conditions such as crowding and rationed food and water. They were determined to survive, and they were enduring the indecent conditions together, as a family.
Supporting Evidence:
Theme: "It takes hope, determination, and family to push through hard times."
After much happiness and hope after being rescued and brought to Guam, being flown to America -- the land of opportunity, and being sponsored by a family to Alabama, Hà reaches an obstacle -- school. Hà must go to a school where her classmates treat her horribly.
Hà receives help from her older brother, Vũ, who comforts her and promises to teach her defense. This shows how much family can help somebody push through obstacles and hard times.
Hà's family finally discovers the truth: Hà and her brothers' father is dead, gone. Then, two weeks later, Hà's mother loses the amethyst ring that Father gave her -- "...the last tangible remnant of love." The family honors Father together.
We'll chant
for Father's safe passage
toward eternal peace,
where his parents await him.
...
At least
we no longer live
in waiting.
They continue and they push through the hard times as a family with hope and determination.
How the author uses specific events and characters to develop the theme
The author uses many heartbreaking events throughout the novel to develop the theme. The obstacle is passed with either the help of family or determination and hope. Many events in the novel support the theme: "it takes hope, determination, and family to push through hard times." Hà's family is forced to flee South Vietnam, South Vietnam disappears from the map, the navy ship misses the rescue ships, Hà's family has to endure work and school, and they finally know the truth -- Father is dead. Hà's family endures all of these obstacles in their incredible story of family, hope, and determination.
Full transcript