Character Analysis Of Lucky Child By Loung Ung
Family comes in all different forms, but no matter who you consider family, they are a very important part of your life. The book Lucky Child by Loung Ung was published in 2005. The story is about Loung, a young girl from Cambodia who is chosen to go with her brother to America to flee the Khmer Rouge, leaving the rest of her family behind. Loung has to adapt to the American culture and overcome the loss of her parents and her longingness to be with her family. Throughout the story, Loung learns that no matter what, your heritage and family will always be a part of your identity, and that family is the key to living life to the fullest.
Loung first learns that your heritage and family will always be a part of your identity, and remembering that is important for finding your true self. Right before Loung graduates, she finds three hundred pages that she had written about her life in Cambodia, the Khmer Rouge, and her family from two years earlier. Loung describes the moment she found the pages and remembers the girl who she used to be: “I feel the paper and remember the girl. I know that she is Cambodian and she is me. But it’s too soon for us to fully join and become one. Still, today, I will walk with her when my name is called to receive my diploma. I rise up off the bed and wrap the beautiful silk sarong around my waist”(191). When Loung finds the book, it brings back memories of Cambodia and the girl she used to be. She isn’t ready to fully accept that part of her, but she still wants to honor her heritage and wear a traditional Cambodian sarong under her graduation robe. For the past couple of years Loung had wanted to forget that part of her, but she realizes that it will always be a part of who she is and she has to accept and honor that proudly. Another moment when Loung learns this lesson is just at the end of the book, when Loung is back at her old house and she is remembering memories of living there. She describes, “In his corner behind me, Pa watches proudly. I understand then that though America may be my home for the moment, Cambodia will always be my heart and my soul. ‘I’m not afraid anymore,’ I smile and whisper to him”(255). Loung’s father is not there physically, but she knows he is always watching over her. She realizes that even though she is living in America for right now, Cambodia is where her roots are, and it will always be a part of her. Loung says that “Cambodia will always be my heart and soul” meaning that even if she moves all over the world, Cambodia will always be carried with her in her soul, as a part of her identity.
In addition, Loung learns that family is the key to living life to the fullest. After getting home from school one day, Loung re-visits memories of living with her family all together. She explains, “There are still no signs that the U.S. government will allow us to reunite, but missing them has become too difficult...I’ve begun to think of myself as the only sister, even though I still remember being part of a big family. That life is gone and no matter how I wish it, it will never be so again. This thought makes me feel...crushed, flattened, and alone”(139). Loung misses her family so much and she wishes she could be with them again. It is hard for Loung to live happily without being with her whole family. Loung says that the thought of never being with her family makes her feel “crushed, flattened, and alone.” Not being with her family brings her sadness, holding her back, and prevents her from living life to the fullest. Another example of Loung learning this is when she is walking with her family after Kim had told them his story of getting out of Cambodia and getting to France. Loung explains, “I finally understand that the unconditional joy and happiness I’ve been seeking to drown out the pain and sadness is an illusion. For no matter how seemingly great my life is in America or France, it will not be fulfilling if I live it alone… that living life to the fullest involves living it with your family”(237). Loung realizes that she had been trying to find happiness by herself, but really, she needs her family for her life to be fulfilling. When Loung says “no matter how seemingly great my life is in America or France, it will not be fulfilling if I live it alone” she means that no matter where she is, she will not be living her life to its greatest potential and to its fullest if she is not with her family.
Throughout her life, Loung learned many lessons and many lessons about family, but the two most important lessons are that no matter what, your heritage and family will always be a part of your identity, and remembering that is important for finding your true self, and that the key to living life to the fullest is living it with your family. So if you ever are questioning the point in family, think about the lessons that Loung has learned.