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Word Count: 1,113
Page 1 Often in literature both modern and classic authors take the persona of one or more of their characters Writers do this to portray to the audience their personal perspective on a controversial aspect of their own contemporary setting A common issue tackled in a variety of different time periods and genres is religion a controversial subject worldwide since its conception From this perspective Duong Thu Huongs Paradise of the Blind and Gustave Flauberts Madame Bovary are very different novels since Madame Bovary is from nineteenth century Western Europe while Paradise of the Blind is from present day Vietnam Authorial religious commentary is a common thread that links both of these novels together However Huongs and Flauberts novels both contain lots of negative authorial commentary on their respective religious practices and the religions themselves perhaps because the authors themselves are skeptical about their particular beliefs and motives Duong Thu Huong implies in Paradise of the Blind that in order for women to succeed and thrive in Vietnamese society they must break free from the constraints of their confining religion and religious customs Aunt Tam is the embodiment of this theory The festivals the ceremonies even Tet- they didnt exist for me anymore Huong 78 In a culture where ceremonies and festivals are key parts to a very strict religion completely ignoring these holidays would be viewed as Tam turning her back on her religion in order to achieve what she wants In fact to live like you do is really happiness The whole village dreams of having this a nice house a granary full of rice money in the bank Calm peaceful days far from all the sound and fury 152 Eventually aunt Tam makes the money she wants Ironically she becomes a very well respected woman in the village even though she desisted from her sacred duties for the sake of worldly possessions Page 2 Aunt Tam ultimately
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