Last Night I Dreamed Of Peace
This paper analyses Dang Thuy Tram’s Novel, Last Night I Dreamt of Peace. Specifically, the paper explains some of the lessons learnt after reading the novel.
As illustrated in the novel, Last Night I Dreamed of Peace tells the story of the well-famed Vietnam war from the perspective of the enemy instead of the victims. The novel’s author is the main protagonist, as the book presents a diary of the events she experienced during the Vietnam War. Arguably, her character in the book is presented as a passionate patriot to her country and one devoted to her country’s revolutionary resistance (Guthrie 1). For that reason, her novel is characterized by a hatred of the American troops who she considers responsible for the death and suffering of her community. In her own words, Thuy considers the American troops as imperialist killers and bloodthirsty devils, thus illustrating her feelings and attitudes regarding the Vietnam War.
In essence, the novel tells the story tells the story of Thuy’s dream of peace, as well as, her longing for a better future. A close examination of the novel reveals that the most valuable lesson to be learnt from the book is centered on self-sacrifice. Through her own character in the book, Thuy illustrates the importance of self-sacrifice for the achievement of the things that are important to an individual’s life. Her first entry in the diary states, “Operated on one case of appendicitis without adequate anesthesia. I had only a few meager vials of Novocain to give the soldier, but he never groaned once during the entire procedure. He just kept smiling, to encourage me.” (Thuy 1-225). This entry is the first illustration of her self-sacrifice as she uses her profession to save her own people. She is s doctor by profession, and she gave up her personal life and committed to herself to taking care of the sick during the Vietnam war. She continues to take care of her patients even though she longs for companionship with her childhood sweetheart, as well as, her family back home. The importance of self-sacrifice is illustrated in how she strives to care for her people at her own expense. Her place of work is not the most favorable place of work as it is under constant bombing and attacks from the US invaders (Guthrie 1). However, instead of giving up on her people and protecting her life through going into hiding, Thuy continues to work as a doctor, thus illustrating her level of self-sacrifice. Her statement illustrates this: “Somehow at this moment, I yearn deeply for Mom’s caring hand. Even the hand of a dear one or that of an acquaintance would be enough. Come to me, squeeze my hand, know my loneliness, and give me the love, the strength to prevail on the perilous road before me.” (Thuy 1-225).
Readers of the novel are encouraged to practice self-sacrifice, as it is illustrated o be beneficial in the long run. Not only does she save many lives through her self-sacrifice, Thuy also gives her people the hope that everything will be okay. She shares her dream of peace with others, encouraging them that there will be a better tomorrow if they stay loyal and devoted to their course. This book also encourages readers never to give up even in the face of suffering and destitution and instead sacrifice themselves to achieve good during this time. Conclusively, the lesson learnt from reading this book is the importance of self-sacrifice for achieving a common good.
Guthrie, John R. Last Night I Dreamed of Peace by Dang Thuy Tram. 13 August 2007. Web. 13
December 2011. <<http://calitreview.com/248>>
Thuy, Tram Dang. Last night I Dreamed of Peace: The Diary of Dang Thuy Tram. London:
Harmony Books, 2007. Print.