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Music of the Ghosts


A love story for things lost and restored, a lyrical hymn to the power of...
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Discuss Music of the Ghosts by Vaddey Ratner:
Do you think Teera's identity is divided? If so, in what ways? Do you think she feels this divide before returning to Cambodia?

Created: 03/27/18

Replies: 9

Posted Mar. 27, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1626

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Do you think Teera's identity is divided? If so, in what ways? Do you think she feels this divide before returning to Cambodia?

Teera feels sure that Amara has had to live with a "divided self" since fleeing her homeland and coming to live in Minnesota. Do you think Teera's identity is also divided, and if so, in what ways? Do you think she feels this divide before returning to Cambodia?


Posted Apr. 02, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Carol Rainer

Join Date: 09/03/15

Posts: 72

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RE: Do you think Teera's identity is divided? If so, in what ways? Do you think she feels this divide before returning to Cambodia?

Yes - because she knew what it was to live as an American, but to go back to Cambodia and live in her birthland was something she had to do.


Posted Apr. 07, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
beckyh

Join Date: 05/08/11

Posts: 78

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RE: Do you think Teera's identity is divided? If so, in what ways? Do you think she feels this divide before returning to Cambodia?

Yes. She is American, but also Cambodian. But which is she really -- neither and both. I know young adults who were "missionary kids", brought up in another culture and then brought "back to America" in the late teen years. They were so confused about their culture and national identity. In many ways "hyphenated Americans" face this same dislocation of self and culture. Not really American, yet not really "Indian" or "Chinese" or "African" or whatever other allegiance they feel.


Posted Apr. 07, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Peggy H

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 235

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RE: Do you think Teera's identity is divided? If so, in what ways? Do you think she feels this divide before returning to Cambodia?

Yes, as was said, she is divided by her memories of the past and yet her desire to return to learn of her past. Another question is what she will do. Would the result be different if herbaunt had not died?


Posted Apr. 07, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
reene

Join Date: 02/18/15

Posts: 312

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RE: Do you think Teera's identity is divided? If so, in what ways? Do you think she feels this divide before returning to Cambodia?

Yes, Teera's identity is divided. She is American and has been raised in the American ways. She also remembers her life as a Cambodian. She also has a very strong desire to learn the truth about her family. She is driven by her loyalty to her background. A strong desire to find peace.


Posted Apr. 08, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
renem

Join Date: 12/01/16

Posts: 185

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RE: Do you think Teera's identity is divided? If so, in what ways? Do you think she feels this divide before returning to Cambodia?

I agree with the others that her identity is divided, but I felt that she felt it more after her return to Cambodia.


Posted Apr. 10, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
MarieA

Join Date: 10/12/11

Posts: 197

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RE: Do you think Teera's identity is divided? If so, in what ways? Do you think she feels this divide before returning to Cambodia?

Yes, I agree with the others that Teera's identity is divided because she was born in Cambodia and raised in the USA. As she learns more while in Cambodia, she finds her identity and a sense of peace.


Posted Apr. 10, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joyces

Join Date: 06/16/11

Posts: 410

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RE: Do you think Teera's identity is divided? If so, in what ways? Do you think she feels this divide before returning to Cambodia?

I think she is very divided in her thoughts and is trying to resolve who she really is. Since all of us with the exception of the American Indians are the descendants of immigrants in varying numbers of generations from our ancestors who came to America we tend to not have that burning need to go back to their original homeland because we are now so far removed from it. And yet many of us do make that trip just to see the place where our ancestors came from. For someone actually born there and having suffered greatly trying to escape just so they could survive it must be a rather burning desire.


Posted Apr. 18, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
juliaa

Join Date: 12/03/11

Posts: 187

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RE: Do you think Teera's identity is divided? If so, in what ways? Do you think she feels this divide before returning to Cambodia?

Yes, of course her identity is divided. She was born in one country and raised in another. Even in the United States, she was tied to the Cambodian community; her aunt worked in that community. In one chapter, she mentions how, when she was at Cornell, she began reading the archives about the Cambodian genocide, but soon abandoned the archives back to their dusty shelves. She wasn't ready then to confront her divided identity, but when the Old Musician's letter arrives, she debates herself for a while, but then makes the decision that the time has come to confront who she is and where she came from. In Cambodia, she is seen as "one of us, yet not one of us," emphasizing still more her divided identity. She is drawn to finding out all about what made her the person she is.


Posted Apr. 19, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
sylviaann

Join Date: 01/14/18

Posts: 20

RE: Do you think Teera's identity is divided? If so, in what ways? Do you think she feels this divide before returning to Cambodia?

Yes I do. I think Teera, when she's in America she feels this longing for Cambodia; she feels more Cambodian than ever. But once she arrived in Cambodia she realizes that she's a stranger and that she feels very American. And her journey is a journey of trying to reconcile these two selves that she embodies.


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