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The Courage of Soldiers

Essay Topic: ,

1.Describe the life of Pauline and her siblings.

Pauline and her siblings lived a life filled with fear. She was taught at a very young age about the challenges that her parents had gone through in order for her and her sibling to lead a better life. Pauline and her siblings faced physical abuse from their demanding and controlling father. Only the letter ‘A’ was accepted on their school report caard… anything below that deserved a wack with a stick from their abusive father.

2.

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Make a list of the pressures the children in the Ngyuen family faced growing up with their parents.

• Worked at the restaurant before and after school

•Had to attend maths school, Vietnamese school, cooking school, debating and martial arts. They were expected to do all this and had to get top grades at school. 3.What were the father’s methods of discipline? Which do you consider to be worse and why? The father’s methods of discipline were physical abuse and public humiliation. I personally consider public humiliation to be worse because parents who publicly humiliate a child don’t do it for the child’s own good but to demonstrate the act of power play over the child. When we are publically humiliated in front of our peers, family and friends, we feel like a raw wound that everybody feels free to rub salt in. They feel utterly open to the judgment of the world and utterly powerless to change it or to take care of themselves while experiencing it.

People will judge and as social beings, the opinions of others matter a lot. When they faced the physical abuse, it happened at home and they were able to hide their wounds, when it was done publicly though they couldn’t hide. They had to bear the shame in front of the world. 4.Children raised in abusive environments like Pauline, find it more difficult to define their individual identity and achieve a sense of belonging. Do you agree.

Please explain. Yes I do agree that children raised in abusive environments like Pauline, find it more difficult to define their individual identity and achieve a sense of belonging. This is because that those who face such difficult situations everyday are constricted and aren’t able to roam around and find out who they really are. Because of this constriction it is also hard for them to find a sense of belonging because they are constantly trying to please their parents. ??

5.Provide several quotes and page that show clearly how Pauline felit living with her parents. •“Fear dominated every day of my childhood. Fear and dog shit covering the yard were the smells of my childhood.” Pg. 292 •“He had never attempted to get to know or understand his children.” Pg. 294 •“My father controlled every hour of our day and when any situation fell out of his control, we suffered the full force of his anger.” Pg. 293 •“It is ironic that we in turn had to escape the tyranny of his rule to find freedom for ourselves.” Pg. 294

6.Describe how Pauline might have felt when she ran away from home. What thoughts would have been going through her mind? Pauline might have felt scared, unsure and frightened when she ran away from home. She would have been worried for her brothers, who is going to look after them? What will happen if her dad finds her? Can she do this? Feelings of doubt would have taken over her but she overcame this and decided to finally do something for herself. 7.What do you think of Pauline’s decision to leave home?

I think Pauline’s decision to leave home was the right thing to do. She had to get out of there sooner or later. She had to venture out in the real world and find her individual identity and her sense of belonging.

8.How did Pauline’s experiences at home affect her in life? What kind of a person has she become? Pauline’s experiences at home affected her life in such a way that she has become

9.Why did Pauline continue to inform her father of her academic achievements after she left home? Pauline continued to inform her father of her academic achievements after she left home because she wanted him to know that his words had still stuck with her. ‘Aim high, hold strong ambitions for your future.’ Pg. 296.

10.Why is the story titled ‘The Courage of Soldiers’? Is this a fitting title? What title would you have given the story? Yes the title, The Courage of Soldiers, is a fitting title. The courage that soldiers is the same level of courage the Pauline and her siblings had. I would title this story as ‘ The Courage of Soldiers’ as well. 11.Why did Pauline’s father behave in the way he did?

Pauline’s father behaved in the way that he did because he wanted the best for his children. He wanted his children to lead a traditional life and. The way that he implemented his beliefs on his children was wrong though. He was very dominating and never really bothered to know his children. He was over protective and wanted total control over his children.

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