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Ru and Canada Reads > Question #6-Movement

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

Constant movement is one of Ru’s themes. At one point, the narrator writes, “I never leave a place with more than one suitcase . . . Nothing else can become truly mine” (100). Why do you think she believes this? Do you think it is true for her?


message 2: by Susan (new)

Susan (susanopl) | 472 comments Mod
I find this to be a common theme in books about immigrants - that they aren't at home in their birthplace and they aren't at home in their adopted country. Having been a refugee who fled in a boat with no possessions, the narrator of Ru has a much better idea than most people about what is needed to survive. In comparison to having nothing in that boat, I'm sure one suitcase seems more than adequate.


message 3: by Susan (new)

Susan | 130 comments Coming to a new country with almost nothing - especially the way the Vietnamese boat people escaped to another South Asian country before settling in other countries - probably cures one of the need for lots of possessions. From reading her bio, it looks like the author has continued to be a wanderer ..


message 4: by Maureen (new)

Maureen B. | 212 comments Not sure if this is from the same passage. I liked that it seemed to capture her sense of impermanence, vulnerability. " . . . I'm always glad to move . . . to leave objects behind . . . I prefer to remember (sensations) . . . because I can shape them . . . whereas an object remains inflexible, unwieldy."


message 5: by Rocio (new)

Rocio (rociofarrell) | 64 comments Again in this subject I am talking based on my personal experience. When I moved to Canada I went through a process of getting rid of most of my possessions and apart from a few books and some pictures that I sent to the US with my sister, I came to Canada with two suitcases. I have to say that it was a very satisfying process to come to the realization that one can live with very few things and that attachment to material objects does not have much sense. For a while I was a very conscious "consumer" thinking twice before buying anything, and although I am not as strict now and I have accumulated many things over the years, I still try to remain detached of material things . In this sense I identify so well with the author in the phrase that Maureen quoted.


message 6: by Susan (new)

Susan (susanopl) | 472 comments Mod
Rocio wrote: "Again in this subject I am talking based on my personal experience. When I moved to Canada I went through a process of getting rid of most of my possessions and apart from a few books and some pict..."
I love that books were among the few things you chose to keep, Rocio!


message 7: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Patrick | 57 comments Mod
I can't imagine moving to a different country or moving in general. I think that when you have to move somewhere, you become aware of the stuff you have and make decisions on what you have to keep and give away. You do this I think to lessen the physical burden of your move because the mental burden of moving somewhere is greater.


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