Why does Raami feel responsible for Papa leaving the family and for Radana's death? How does she deal with her guilt and grief?
Join Date: 10/15/10
Join Date: 03/13/12
Raami's guilt over her father is clear; she had burted out his name when the young Kamaphibal was demanding to know people's real names. Raami feels responsible for the death of Radana, her young sister, since there were so many occasions when she felt that the physically perfect child was favored or loved more than she was. Towards the end of the story when the background information on the tinkling bell anklet is finally revealed, Raami is grief stricken. However, it seems that in some ways her guilt made her determined to survive and live to tell people about her heritage and who her Papa was.
Join Date: 04/11/12
Poor Raami. We all do things and make decisions to do things when we're young that we would not do when we're adults. I think she finally comes to terms in her mind over what happened at various times and why she did what she did. She dealt with her grief by keeping he father alive in her mind and becomes determined to live.
Join Date: 12/07/12
I agree that she dealt with guilt by surviving and keeping the memory of her loved ones alive. There is such an emphasis on the ghosts that everyone has in his or her life. Grandmother queen in her dementia speaks freely to and of them. They seem to be more than memory to the characters, more almost living presences. She summoned her father as she left Cambodia to take him with her.
Join Date: 06/14/13
Regarding Radana, the guilt came because she was jealous of the attention her sister got. But you definitely see a change in Raami before Radana's death, when Radana got sick. when Raami goes to get her banana and palm juice cone, she asks for a second portion for her sister at the risk of getting in trouble. She definitely showed concern for her sister here and when she dies, Raami's thoughts turn to regret at not having done enough.
Join Date: 12/25/12
The combination of the perspective of a child, lack of understanding, and a profound sense that we have more control than we actually do, along with survivor's guilt seems, at times, too much for Raami to deal with. The lovely thing about the voice of a 7 year old is we get a completely honest view as she bounces between hope and guilt. Hope every time they land somewhere else: Pok & Mae, finding Uncle, and the final journey out of Cambodia. Guilt every time something devastating happens. Both emotions ebb and flow as she deals with growing up too fast and dealing with situations she doesn't understand, and occasionally misinterprets. Raami's guilt is a direct result of her grief. As a child, she cannot see events as separate from herself, therefore she must have some control or influence. In many of the situations Raami misinterprets her responsibility, and because of her mother's grief and forced absences, she doesn't get the comfort or reassurance to assuage her guilt.
Join Date: 05/22/12
I think the answer to this question is the essence of what makes Raami a 'typical' child--children center themselves at the heart of 'blame' because they only know how to view the world from their perspective rather than 'the big picture.' While that may seem to save children from knowing the deeper (and uglier) truths, it is also heartbreaking to consider: "What did I do wrong to cause X to happen?" Poor Raami, indeed. Her voice as the narrator gives us all 'new eyes' to a heinous time in history.
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