Final Paper - Lee 1 Insuk Kevin Lee Dr. Ellen Boccuzzi...

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Lee 1 Insuk Kevin Lee Dr. Ellen Boccuzzi South and Southeast Asian Studies R5A 5 December 2010 Social defects and flaws The 20th century was a period of turmoil and drastic changes worldwide, especially in Eurasia - the clash of political idealisms, economic struggles and ruthless, selfish wars that victimized millions of innocent civilians. Vietnam and Thailand, which Paradise of the Blind by Duong Thu Huong and The Judgment by Chart Korbjitti are based on, respectively, were also undergoing tremendous changes as a result of these clashes that either brought about chaos or peace. Poor peasants and laborers, who comprised around ninety percent of each of these countries, were vulnerable to the leadership of corrupt dictators or communistic parties and failed to differentiate right from wrong, uneducated as they were. The ignorance of the proletariats, combined with the unethical, conniving leaders created a serious flaw in the societal structure of the two countries and many suffered for it. Even though these two books have completely unrelated plot, character and style, both seek to criticize the faults and flaws of their society in the 1900s, and at the same time preserve the culture of Vietnam and Thailand in writing. Both The Judgment and The Paradise of the Blind take place in societies with ignorant peasants and corrupt leaders. Compared to other Western civilizations they are inefficient, damaging and backward progressive. Development in these two third-world countries is slow and awkward and there are several reasons to this. One of them is that the uneducated lower class readily accepts the authority of those in higher social class, town leaders and
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Lee 2 communistic government, never asking the legitimacy of the land reforms, rumors, or the accusations within the village. The headmaster in Fak's village, for example, is a selfish, manipulative individual who puts up a front as a thoughtful and righteous philanthropist and pretends to prioritize the needs of the village infront of everything else. He, for his own interest, buys an invaluable plot of land behind temple that "[goes] up by leaps and bounds" (Korbjitti 144) and he eagerly pushes for the completion of the road into town "so that people in the village could travel to town more conveniently - and in terms of convenience, no house in the village was better located than his, as the minibuses that ran into town passed right by his door" (145). If anyone had any sense and objectivity it would have been clear that his motives are only for his own good but nobody in the village bothers to question the legitimacy of the headmaster's claims. Also it is natural to think strangely of Fak's sudden downfall from an idolized young man in town to a disgrace but no one doubts the rumors or tries to find out if it really is true. News of incest
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Final Paper - Lee 1 Insuk Kevin Lee Dr. Ellen Boccuzzi...

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